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Arch Toxicol. 1999 Aug;73(6):337-45.

In vitro models to study mechanisms involved in cyclosporine A-mediated glomerular contraction.

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Novartis Pharma A.G.-Toxicology/Pathology, WS-2881.3.27, CH-4002 Basle, Switzerland.


The immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporin A (CsA), which is successfully used to prevent rejection in organ transplantation, induces renal side-effects as shown by a decrease in glomerular filtration rate and ultrafiltration coefficient regulated by the tone of mesangial cells.The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of CsA on isolated glomeruli and mesangial cells, which constitute appropriate in vitro models for renal vasoreactivity studies. The roles of different intracellular and extracellular mediators such as calcium, endothelin-1 (ET-1), prostaglandins (TXA(2 )and PGI(2)) and reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) were analysed. CsA caused a concentration- and time-dependent decrease in the planar cross-sectional areas of isolated glomeruli and mesangial cells as determined by image analysis. Intracytosolic free calcium concentration determined by fluorimetric analysis was significantly increased after 30 min CsA (10 microM) incubation. In the contraction experiment, the calcium antagonist verapamil inhibited the CsA response. ET-1, TXB(2) and keto-PGF(1alpha) were determined directly, however no changes were found statistically significantly different from respective controls. In contrast to these results, the ET-1 specific antibody was able to reduce CsA-mediated cell contraction. In the presence of a prostacyclin agonist iloprost, CsA-induced contraction was also modified. The role of ROIs using a 2'7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFdAc) fluorimetric method was directly determined by observing, with 10 microM CsA, a significant production of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), which was able alone to induce mesangial cell contraction. Coincubation with the antioxidants led to a significant inhibition of mesangial cell contraction. These results suggest that CsA caused an imbalance in the normal level of all investigated vasoconstrictive and vasodilator mediators, which shifted towards the advantage of vasoconstrictive action.

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