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Transplant Proc. 2004 Mar;36(2 Suppl):437S-441S.

New concepts in cyclosporine pharmacokinetic and dynamic monitoring: the impact of concomitant immunosuppression on target C2 concentrations.

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  • 1Department of Servei de Farmacologia y Toxicologia, IDIBAPS, Hospital Clinic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



There is a correlation between cyclosporine (CsA) pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD), especially 2 hours after drug administration.


To evaluate the relationship between CsA PK and PD profiles in two groups of stable renal transplant patients treated with CsA alone or CsA plus mycophenolate mofetil (CsA+MMF), so as to define the best target for C2 and clarify the impact of concomitant immunosuppression.


Thirty-eight stable renal transplant recipients were treated with CsA (n=20) or CsA+MMF (n=18). Twelve nontreated normal healthy controls (NHC) were also included. Calcineurin activity (CNa), IL-2 production, and CsA levels were measured at 0 and 2 hours postdose.


There were no significant differences in median CsA C2 values and CNa between the CsA alone and the CsA+MMF groups (388 microg/L and 497.5 microg/L and CNa 2h; 3.92% alkaline phosphatase [AP]; 3.94% AP, respectively). In vitro production of IL-2 was significantly lower in the CsA+MMF group than in the CsA group (median IL-2 2h: 280.52 ng/L, 169.48 ng/L, P<.001). The correlations (r) between C2 and CNa 2h were: CsA r=0.74; CsA+MMF r=0.84 (P<.001 in both cases).


In stable renal transplant patients, median CsA C2 values below 500 microg/L were associated with inhibition of CNa and IL-2 synthesis. CNa and IL-2 production may be good biological markers of CsA immunosuppression. The measurement of CNa depends mainly on CsA concentration, whereas in vitro IL-2 production reflects the effect of both CsA and MMF. Further studies are necessary to define the optimal C2 target concentration and the possible impact of concomitant immunosuppression.

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