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      Mycophenolate Mofetil Ameliorates Accelerated Progressive Nephropathy in Rat

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          Background: Renal ischemia and hypertension have been suggested to be involved in the progression of renal diseases. Recently, we developed a model of accelerated major histocompatibility complex-independent renal injury, where high-renin hypertension aggravates functional and morphological changes induced by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). In this model, we evaluated the effect of immunosuppressant mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) to test its capability to slow the progression of accelerated nephropathy. Methods: 34 anesthetized uninephrectomized hypertensive transgenic (mREN2)27 rats (TGR) received a clamp on the renal pedicle for 45 min. Animals were treated with MMF 10 mg/kg/day (n = 10), 20 mg/kg/day (n = 10) or placebo (n = 10) orally via gavage for 12 weeks. Four animals were sham operated and not treated. Proteinuria and blood pressure were evaluated throughout the experiment. At the end of the experiment, kidney function was evaluated and kidneys harvested for morphological analysis and immunohistochemistry (CD4+, CD8+ lymphocytes and specific rat monocyte/macrophage marker ED-1+ cells). Results: At week 12, both MMF-treated groups had lower proteinuria as compared to the placebo group (MMF 10: 22.4 ± 9.8, MMF 20: 20.9 ± 5.6 vs. 126.7 ± 35.8; p < 0.01; sham 28.1 ± 1.4 mg/day) and reduced glomerulosclerosis (MMF 10: 11.4 ± 7.8, MMF 20: 5.2 ± 2.7 vs. 20.9 ± 10.9; p < 0.05; sham 15.7 ± 9.2%). There were no differences in systolic blood pressure among groups. MMF-treated rats had lower CD4+ (MMF 10: 61.2 ± 46.4, MMF 20: 29.3 ± 18.2 vs. 125.3 ± 42.8; p < 0.01, sham 84.9 ± 6.1 cells/field of view) and CD8+ (MMF 10: 13.7 ± 10.2, MMF 20: 10.0 ± 8.1 vs. 37.8 ± 14.3; p < 0.01; sham: 31.8 ± 7.6 cells/field of view) lymphocytes infiltration and ED-1 macrophages infiltration (MMF 10: 5.5 ± 6.4, MMF 20: 2.5 ± 2.8 vs. 16.7 ± 4.1; p < 0.01; sham 12.2 ± 4.6 cells/field of view) than placebo-treated rats. Conclusion: Our results thus support the hypothesis about the key role of immune mechanisms in progression of chronic nephropathies.

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          Most cited references 15

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          The natural history of chronic allograft nephropathy.

          With improved immunosuppression and early allograft survival, chronic allograft nephropathy has become the dominant cause of kidney-transplant failure. We evaluated the natural history of chronic allograft nephropathy in a prospective study of 120 recipients with type 1 diabetes, all but 1 of whom had received kidney-pancreas transplants. We obtained 961 kidney-transplant-biopsy specimens taken regularly from the time of transplantation to 10 years thereafter. Two distinctive phases of injury were evident as chronic allograft nephropathy evolved. An initial phase of early tubulointerstitial damage from ischemic injury (P<0.05), prior severe rejection (P<0.01), and subclinical rejection (P<0.01) predicted mild disease by one year, which was present in 94.2 percent of patients. Early subclinical rejection was common (affecting 45.7 percent of biopsy specimens at three months), and the risk was increased by the occurrence of a prior episode of severe rejection and reduced by tacrolimus and mycophenolate therapy (both P<0.05) and gradually abated after one year. Both subclinical rejection and chronic rejection were associated with increased tubulointerstitial damage (P<0.01). Beyond one year, a later phase of chronic allograft nephropathy was characterized by microvascular and glomerular injury. Chronic rejection (defined as persistent subclinical rejection for two years or longer) was uncommon (5.8 percent). Progressive high-grade arteriolar hyalinosis with luminal narrowing, increasing glomerulosclerosis, and additional tubulointerstitial damage was accompanied by the use of calcineurin inhibitors. Nephrotoxicity, implicated in late ongoing injury, was almost universal at 10 years, even in grafts with excellent early histologic findings. By 10 years, severe chronic allograft nephropathy was present in 58.4 percent of patients, with sclerosis in 37.3 percent of glomeruli. Tubulointerstitial and glomerular damage, once established, was irreversible, resulting in declining renal function and graft failure. Chronic allograft nephropathy represents cumulative and incremental damage to nephrons from time-dependent immunologic and nonimmunologic causes. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            De novo kidney transplantation without use of calcineurin inhibitors preserves renal structure and function at two years.

            We performed a randomized prospective trial comparing calcineurin inhibitor (CNI)-free to CNI-based immunosuppression to determine the impact on renal function, structure and gene expression. Sixty-one kidney recipients treated with basiliximab mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and prednisone (P) were randomly assigned to concentration-controlled sirolimus or cyclosporine. Two years post-transplant 55 patients underwent renal function studies, 48 (87%) underwent transplant biopsies; all classified by Banff scoring and 41 by DNA microarrays. Comparing sirolimus/MMF/P to cyclosporine/MMF/P there was a significantly lower serum creatinine (1.35 vs. 1.81 mg/dL; p = 0.008), higher Cockroft-Gault glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (80.4 vs. 63.4 mL/min; p = 0.008), iothalamate GFR (60.6 vs. 49.2 mL/min; p = 0.018) and Banff 0 (normal) biopsies (66.6 vs. 20.8%; p = 0.013). Regression analysis of calculated GFRs from 1 to 36 months yielded a positive slope for sirolimus of 3.36 mL/min/year, and a negative slope for cyclosporine of -1.58 mL/min/year (p = 0.008). Gene expression profiles from kidneys with higher Banff chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN) scores confirmed significant up-regulation of genes responsible for immune/inflammation and fibrosis/tissue remodeling. At 2 years the sirolimus-treated recipients have better renal function, a diminished prevalence of CAN and down-regulated expression of genes responsible for progression of CAN. All may provide for an alternative natural history with improved graft survival.
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              Mycophenolate mofetil reduces myofibroblast infiltration and collagen III deposition in rat remnant kidney.

              Myofibroblasts have been shown to play a pivotal role in the synthesis of extracellular matrix components in several animal models of renal fibrosis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) reduces interstitial myofibroblast infiltration and collagen III deposition in 5/6 nephrectomized rats. Forty-five Wistar rats underwent 5/6 renal ablation and received by daily oral gavage either vehicle (N = 20) or MMF (N = 25) during the 60 days following surgery. Groups of five treated and five untreated rats were killed at two, four, and eight weeks after subtotal nephrectomy. Four untreated and three treated rats were killed at week 12, one month after treatment withdrawal. At the time of sacrifice, proteinuria, plasma, and urine creatinine were determined. Immunohistochemistry was performed on renal tissue for alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), a cytoskeletal marker of myofibroblasts, for type III collagen, and for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Moreover, in order to study the in vitro effects of MMF on fibroblast proliferation, rat fibroblasts were cultured in the presence or absence of mycophenolic acid (MPA). At all periods studied, MMF treatment improved renal functional parameters and progressively decreased remnant kidney hypertrophy and glomerular volume increment. Proliferating cells in renal tubules, interstitium, and glomeruli, as well as interstitial myofibroblast infiltration and interstitial type III collagen deposition, were also significantly reduced by MMF treatment. In addition, MPA exhibited a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on in vitro proliferation of rat fibroblasts. Reduction of interstitial myofibroblast infiltration may be an important event by which MMF significantly prevents renal injury following subtotal renal ablation. Thus, our results suggest that MMF could be useful to limit the progression of chronic renal disease toward end-stage renal failure.

                Author and article information

                Kidney Blood Press Res
                Kidney and Blood Pressure Research
                S. Karger AG
                June 2006
                06 June 2006
                : 29
                : 1
                : 60-66
                aDepartment of Nephrology, Transplant Center, and bDepartment of Pathology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
                92948 Kidney Blood Press Res 2006;29:60–66
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 22, Pages: 7
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