Inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase variability in renal transplant patients on long-term mycophenolate mofetil therapy

Laurent R. Chiarelli, Mariadelfina Molinaro, Carmelo Libetta, Carmine Tinelli, Laura Cosmai, Giovanna Valentini, Antonio Dal Canton, Mario Regazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims Long-term mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) therapy may induce inosine 5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), thus decreasing MMF immunosuppressive properties. Pharmacodynamic monitoring was used to investigate whether biological activity is altered after long-term therapy. Methods IMPDH activity was measured in PBMC samples from 54 stable kidney transplant patients, already on MMF (for at least 3 months), before (t0) and 2 h after (t2) MMF morning dose administration; levels were monitored for up to 15 months, together with total mycophenolic acid (MPA) and free MPA concentrations. RESULTS During the 15 months' monitoring, t0 IMPDH activity in transplant recipients increased from 5.9 ± 3.7 nmol h-1 mg-1 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.9, 6.9] to 9.0 ± 3.9 nmol h-1 mg-1 (95% CI 7.2, 10.8), with an intra- and interpatient variability of 28% and 42%. Five patients experienced acute rejection during the follow-up: t0 IMPDH activity was increased during rejection vs. nonrejection, and the trend was significantly higher in rejecting than in nonrejecting subjects for the whole monitoring period. Conclusions Even though a correlation has been found between IMPDH activity and rejection, its efficacy as a predictive tool in long-term transplant outcomes may be affected by high interpatient variability; on the other hand, continuous monitoring of the IMPDH trend could make an effective prognostic parameter of rejection. Other trials also including pre-transplant data on both IMPDH expression and activity are warranted to better assess their role as biomarkers for MPA effect in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Mycophenolic acid
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Rejection
  • Renal transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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