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Transplantation. 2000 Aug 15;70(3):456-64.

Immunosuppressive activity of the Chinese medicinal plant Tripterygium wilfordii. II. Prolongation of hamster-to-rat cardiac xenograft survival by combination therapy with the PG27 extract and cyclosporine.

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Pharmagenesis, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.



PG27 is an immunosuppressive fraction purified from an extract of a Chinese medicinal plant Tripterygium wilfordii, which we investigated alone and in combination with cyclosporine (CsA) in a concordant, hamster-to-rat cardiac xenotransplantation model.


Golden Syrian hamster hearts were heterotopically transplanted into the abdomen of Lewis rat recipients, which were treated intraperitoneally or orally with PG27, CsA, or both.


Combination therapy with 30 mg/kg(day of PG27 and CsA at 10 mg/kg/day successfully suppressed acute hamster-to-rat cardiac xenograft rejection. Treatment with PG27 or CsA alone was ineffective. Among several effective combinations, the best regimen involved PG27 at 30 mg/kg/day and CsA at 5 mg/ kg/day from days 8 to 35 and then CsA at 5 mg/kg/day from days 36 to 100, which produced 100% survival beyond 100 days. CsA suppressed the heterospecific lymphocytotoxic antibody response and inhibited IgG but not IgM xenoantibody production (which led to xenograft rejection), whereas PG27 alone did not prevent antibody production. The PG27/CsA combination blocked the lymphocytotoxic antibody response and IgG and IgM xenoantibody production induced by cardiac xenotransplantation.


PG27 combined with CsA substantially prolonged hamster-to-rat cardiac xenograft survival, as well as completely inhibiting xenoantibody production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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