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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1998 Aug;9(8):1521-5.

Mycophenolate mofetil, together with cyclosporin A, prevents anti-OKT3 antibody response in kidney transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Hôpital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium.


OKT3 monoclonal antibody, a murine IgG2a monoclonal antibody targeting the T cell CD3 antigen, elicits a neutralizing humoral response in 20 to 50% of kidney transplant recipients when the concomitant immunosuppression consists of CsA-Sandimmun (SAND) and azathioprine (AZA). In the present study, we investigated the impact of the newer agents, CsA-Neoral (NEO) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) on OKT3 sensitization. Sixty-two consecutive kidney transplant recipients received prophylactic OKT3 (5 mg/d) from days 0 to 13, together with steroids. Concomitant immunosuppression consisted of either AZA + SAND (n=20), AZA + NEO (n=31), or MMF + NEO (n=11). The following doses were used: AZA, 2 mg/kg per d from days 0 to 13, then 1 mg/kg per d; MMF, 2 g/d starting on day 1; and CsA, either SAND or NEO, 6 mg/kg per d from day 6. At least two serum samples per month were available during the initial 3 mo for each patient. IgG anti-OKT3 antibodies were first evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Patients were considered sensitized if their serum scored positive at a dilution > or = 1/1000. Peak titers of IgG anti-OKT3 antibodies and the incidence of patients harboring neutralizing anti-idiotypic antibodies were also determined. A first reduction in OKT3 sensitization was seen in patients receiving Neoral instead of Sandimmun (AZA + SAND: 10 of 20 [50%] patients sensitized versus 6 of 31 [19%] in the AZA + NEO group; P=0.03). This was probably related to the achievement of higher mean CsA trough blood levels in the NEO group during the first month (253+/-44 versus 186+/-49 ng/ml in SAND patients). Peak antibody titers and the proportion of patients with anti-idiotypic antibodies were similar in the AZA + SAND and AZA + NEO groups. A further reduction in the sensitization rate was observed with the replacement of AZA by MMF (MMF + NEO: 0% sensitized patients; P=0.0013). It is concluded that the combination of CsA-Neoral and MMF efficiently prevents sensitization against OKT3.

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