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Transplantation. 1998 May 15;65(9):1203-9.

Gender-related assessment of cyclosporine/prednisolone/sirolimus interactions in three human lymphocyte proliferation assays.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutics, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260, USA.



Cyclosporine (CsA), prednisolone (Pred), and sirolimus (Sir) are immunosuppressive compounds inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation at the cytokine gene transcription (CsA and Pred) or signal transduction (Sir) levels.


Double- and triple-drug interactions were simultaneously studied using lectin-induced proliferation of isolated cell lymphocytes (ICLP) and whole blood lymphocytes from men and women as well as two-way mixed lymphocyte reaction assays. Drug interactions were described with isobolograms and quantitated with the universal response surface approach by estimating the interaction parameter alpha.


All compounds inhibited more than 89% of control proliferative responses. In each assay, CsA was less potent than Pred (3- to 14-fold) and Sir (5- to 11-fold). Sir was of similar or higher potency than Pred and 1.5-fold more potent in men than women. Pred was 1.4 times more potent in women but this was found only in the ICLP assay. All combinations were synergistic (alpha>0), with greater synergism found for combinations involving Sir, especially in the ICLP (alpha>13) and two-way mixed lymphocyte reaction (alpha>40) assays. Moreover, the Sir/Pred interaction in the ICLP assay was two to five times more synergistic in women, because their mean alpha was 56 compared with 13 in men. Double-combination alpha values were able to reasonably describe CsA/Pred/Sir triple-interaction effects.


These studies indicate that CsA, Pred, and Sir act and synergistically interact in vitro, with gender and assay as additional factors, and that whole blood lymphocyte proliferation cultures are useful in assessing the nature and intensity of drug interactions.

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