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Transplantation. 1992 May;53(5):1071-6.

Inhibition of in vitro immunoglobulin production by rapamycin.

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Laboratory of Nephrology and Transplantation Immunology, Notre-Dame Hospital Research Center, University of Montreal, Canada.


Like FK506, rapamycin, a structural analog of FK506, is a strong immunosuppressant. The immunosuppressive effect of Rapa in in vitro IgG, IgM, and IgA production by human lymphocytes was examined in this study. To inhibit spontaneous or pokeweed mitogen-stimulated production of Ig by human peripheral blood lymphocytes, about one thousandfold lower concentrations of Rapa (IC50 = 0.3 nM-2 nM) were required than of cyclosporine (IC50 = 0.3 microM-2 microM). T cells were the direct targets of Rapa, because preincubation of T cells with Rapa abolished the T cells helper effect to T-dependent Ig production. Rapa also had direct suppressive effect on B cells, since Rapa suppressed IgG production by pure B cells stimulated with IL2 and Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I. Kinetic studies measuring IgG production and cell proliferation revealed that Rapa acted at the activation stage of T and B cells. Exogenous IL2 substantially reversed the inhibitory effect of CsA but not that of Rapa in Ig production. This study is the first report on the strong suppressive effect of Rapa on human humoral immune response with a quantitative comparison with that of CsA. The underlying mechanisms are also explored. The results indicate the potential usefulness of this drug in treatment of presensitized transplantation patients, with whom cytotoxic Ab is a major obstacle to a successful transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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