Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

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Impact of immunosuppressive treatment on endothelial biomarkers after kidney transplantation

Al-Massarani G, Vacher-Coponat H, Paul P, Widemann A, Arnaud L, Loundou A, Robert S, Berland Y, Dignat-George F, Camoin-Jau L. Am J Transplant. 2008 Nov ;8(11):2360-7. Impact factor :6.394 (2012)


Endothelial dysfunction occurs in hemodialysis and kidney-transplanted patients and can be enhanced by immunosuppressive therapy. Circulating endothelial cells (CEC), endothelial microparticles (EMP) and sVCAM-1 provide information on endothelium activation and damage. We compared the impact of two immunosuppressive regimens (CsA/Aza vs. Tac/MMF) on the kinetics of CEC, EMP and sVCAM-1 levels in 52 patients, both before graft and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after graft, in reference to 50 healthy controls. CEC, EMP and sVCAM-1 levels were significantly decreased 1 year after transplantation (M12) as compared to pretransplant values. At M12, CEC and sVCAM-1 levels were significantly higher than those of controls whereas EMP reached normal values. Nine months postgraft, lower CEC and normalized EMP levels were found in patients receiving cyclosporine microemulsion/ azathioprine (CsA/Aza) when compared to patients treated with tacrolimus/ mycophenolate mofetil (Tac/MMF). Multivariate analysis evidenced positive correlations between CEC and history of cardiovascular diseases and between EMP and cytomegalovirus infection at M12. In conclusion, our combined analysis of endothelial injury markers confirms the favorable impact of renal transplantation on endothelium, and show that CEC levels discriminate treatment-associated endothelial toxicity. These results enlighten the potential of these noninvasive blood biomarkers in indexing vascular injury and optimize therapeutic options.