10 October 2001
An increased degree of oxidative stress in renal transplant recipients and a possible role of ciclosporin A (Cs-A) immunosuppressive therapy in this process have already been described. However, prospective data using in vivo markers and the influence of Cs-A in the oxidizability of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are scarce. We aimed at investigating in this prospective study the evolution pattern of auto-antibodies directed against malondialdehyde-modified LDL (MDA-LDL) and Cu<sup>2+</sup>-oxidized LDL in 28 stable renal transplant recipients on Cs-A immunosuppressive therapy before and after 3 successive years of renal transplantation. Also, the effect of enrichment of LDL with Cs-A on the susceptibility of LDL to in vitro oxidation was tested. The results showed a significant increase of both auto-antibody titres (MDA-LDL and Cu<sup>2+</sup>-oxidized LDL) after 1 year, and the values remained high during the 2nd and the 3rd year following transplantation. The yearly mean relative variations of auto-antibodies against MDA-LDL and Cu<sup>2+</sup>-oxidized LDL during the follow-up period were 133, 149, and 137%, and 111, 115, and 117%, respectively. A significant correlation was observed during the 1st year between Cs-A trough blood level and Cu<sup>2+</sup>-oxidized LDL auto-antibody: r = 0.04 (p = 0.046). Incorporation of Cs-A into LDL from healthy volunteers showed no changes during the lag phase in comparison with Cs-A-free LDL, indicating that Cs-A had no effect on in vitro LDL oxidizability. Our results suggest that Cs-A may be involved earlier in the LDL oxidation, but the mechanism by which it acts is still unclear.