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Circulation. 1999 Jul 6;100(1):67-74.

Rapamycin reverses chronic graft vascular disease in a novel cardiac allograft model.

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1
Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Falk Cardiovascular Research Center, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic graft vascular disease (CGVD) in cardiac allografts has been defined as a slowly evolving vasculopathy unresponsive to conventional immunosuppression. We compared 4 rodent models of CGVD to evaluate the reproducibility of CGVD in heart allografts. Rapamycin (Rapa) and cyclosporine (CSA) were then used to treat CGVD.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Hearts were harvested and placed heterotopically into allogenic recipients. CGVD scores of PVG allografts from ACI recipients treated with CSA on days 1 through 10 were significantly elevated on day 90 (n=16) compared with other models (immunosuppression used): (1) Lewis to F344 recipients (CSA), (2) Brown Norway to Lewis (FK506), and (3) DA to Wistar-Firth (methylprednisolone, azathioprine, CSA). Although delayed (day 60 to 90) CSA treatment had no effect (n=6), delayed Rapa (3 mg. kg-1. d-1 IP) reversed CGVD in PVG grafts (0.22+/-0.19 on day 90, n=6). ACI isografts showed no evidence of CGVD (n=6) at day 90. Immunohistochemistry of PVG grafts revealed perivascular infiltrates consisting of CD4(+) T cells and limited numbers of macrophages persisting up to day 90. Flow cytometry demonstrated increased levels of anti-donor antibody at day 90, which was significantly inhibited by Rapa treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

PVG grafts developed a significant increase in CGVD without evidence of ongoing myocardial rejection. This CGVD appeared to be mediated by both cellular and humoral mechanisms, given CD4(+) perivascular infiltrates and increased levels of anti-donor antibody. The anti-CGVD effectiveness of Rapa during a period in which there was little myocardial cellular infiltrate supports a novel mechanism of effect such as smooth muscle or B-cell inhibition.

PMID:
10393683
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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