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Kidney Int. 2001 Jan;59(1):3-16.

Rapamycin in transplantation: a review of the evidence.

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Department of Surgery, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, England, United Kingdom.


Rapamycin in transplantation: A review of the evidence. The calcineurin inhibitors have been the mainstays of immunosuppression for solid organ transplantation over the last two decades, but nephrotoxicity limits their therapeutic benefit. Rapamycin is a new drug with both immunosuppressant and antiproliferative properties that has a unique mechanism of action distinct from that of the calcineurin inhibitors. It has a role as a maintenance immunosuppressant either alone or in combination with a calcineurin inhibitor and can also be used to treat refractory acute rejection. Theoretical evidence suggests that it may limit the development and progression of chronic rejection in transplant recipients, but this has yet to be confirmed. This review examines the current in vitro animal and human work underlying the use of rapamycin and, in addition, comments on the pharmacokinetics and side-effect profile of this promising new agent.

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