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Transplantation. 2000 Jan 27;69(2):235-41.

Prolongation of canine liver allograft survival by a novel immunosuppressant, FTY720: effect of monotherapy and combined treatment with conventional drugs.

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  • 1First Department of Surgery, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.



The immunosuppressive effect and other properties of a novel immunosuppressant, FTY720, have been studied mostly in the experimental transplantation of various extrahepatic organs. In this experiment, we evaluated the antirejection potency and adverse effects of this agent on liver grafts using a canine liver transplantation model.


Forty-eight orthotopic liver transplantations were performed by the standard technique under a veno-venous bypass. Liver recipients were divided into two studies: a single-dose study with FTY720 at various doses and a combined dose study with conventional immunosuppressants (cyclosporine or tacrolimus) alone and combined with FTY720. Survival, biochemical and hematological tests, blood levels of immunosuppressants, and postmortem histology were determined.


The median survival of untreated control animals was 9 days, whereas treatment with FTY720 at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg/day prolonged graft survival to 49.5 days. FTY720 at 1 mg/kg/day showed a slight but insignificant prolongation to 16 days, but when the dose was increased to 5 mg/kg/day, the graft was rejected at 10 days. The combination of FTY720, 0.1 mg/kg/day, with a subtherapeutic dose of cyclosporine, 5 mg/kg/ day, prolonged median animal survival from 40 days with cyclosporine alone to 74 days. A combination of FTY720 (0.1 mg/kg/day) with tacrolimus (0.5 mg/kg/ day) compromised animal survival, reducing survival from 83.5 days with tacrolimus alone to 30.5 days due to infectious complication and emaciation by overimmunosuppression. No evident drug-induced side effects were observed.


FTY720 has a potent immunosuppressive effect when used alone at 0.1 mg/kg/day in canine liver transplantation. FTY720 is a promising candidate for future clinical application in orthotopic liver transplantation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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