Somatostatin (SS) was originally described as a growth hormone release inhibiting factor synthesised in the hypothalamus. Recently, SS and its receptor (SSTR) have been demonstrated in lymphoid tissues and seem to play a regulatory, largely inhibitory, role in immune responses. The aim of the present study was to check the immunosuppressive effect of a SS derived peptide, the octreotide (SMS 201-995) and to verify whether this molecule acted synergistically with FK506. An immunosuppressive effect of SMS was observed on the proliferation of rat spleen cells induced in vitro, either by polyclonal mitogens such as PHA or by alloantigens. With PHA stimulation, 10-14 M SMS significantly enhanced the immunosuppressive action of 0.00001 @mg/ml FK506. The addition of SMS in MLR (10-11-10-9 M) increased the antiproliferative effect of both 0.0001 @mg/ml and 0.00001 @mg/ml FK506. In consideration of the extremely low concentration of both drugs that was required to obtain a good immunosuppression in vitro, we verified the association of FK506 and SMS in vivo in an allogeneic skin graft model that used Lewis (Lew) rats as donors and Brown Norway (BN) rats as recipients. BN treated with 0.1 mg/kg FK506 and 0.5-10 @mg/kg SMS showed a significant increase in mean skin allograft survival time when compared to either a monotherapy or control group. None of the animals died or showed signs of drug-related toxicity. In conclusion, a combined therapy of SMS and FK506, administered at lower dosages than those that are considered therapeutic, led to an effective immunosuppression without any undesirable side effects. (C) 1998 International Society for Immunopharmacology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
- SMS 201-995
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