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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Impact of CYP3A4*1B and CYP3A5*3 polymorphisms on the pharmacokinetics of cyclosporine and sirolimus in renal transplant recipients

Dorota Żochowska, Janusz Wyzgał, Leszek Pączek

Ann Transplant 2012; 17(3): 36-44

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.883456

Available online:

Published: 2012-09-26


Background:    Calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine, CsA) and mTOR inhibitors (sirolimus, SRL) – immunosuppressants used to prevent allograft rejection after renal transplantation – have a narrow therapeutic index and show considerable inter-individual pharmacokinetic differences. Differences in expression and activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 and 3A5 affect these pharmacokinetics; cytochrome activity differences are associated with CYP genetic polymorphisms.
    Material/Methods:    This study evaluated the effects of polymorphisms in CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 on immunosuppressive drug-dose adjusted trough blood concentrations. One hundred renal transplant recipients were genotyped for CYP3A4*1B and CYP3A5*3 using PCR-RFLP. Blood concentrations of CsA and SRL were determined by EMIT and HPLC/UV, respectively.
    Results:    The allelic frequencies of CYP3A4*1B and CYP3A5*3 in the study group were 2.5% and 96.5%, respectively. The mean cyclosporine dose in CYP3A4*1/*1B subjects was 455.04±128.68 mg/day vs. 261.68±64.72 mg/day in CYP3A4*1/*1 subjects (p<0.001). The mean cyclosporine dose-adjusted trough blood concentrations (ng/ml per mg/kg body weight) in CYP3A4*1/*1B subjects were lower than in the CYP3A4*1/*1 group (37.06±10.38 vs. 44.63±13.99; p<0.218). The mean cyclosporine dose in CYP3A5*1/*3 subjects was 400.65±164.97 mg/day vs. 263.52±64.39 mg/day in CYP3A5*3/*3 subjects (p<0.022). No association was detected between sirolimus trough blood concentration (C0) or dose requirement, and CYP3A4 or CYP3A5 genotype.
    Conclusions:    Genetic polymorphisms in CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 may underlie inter-individual differences in cyclosporine pharmacokinetics after renal transplantation. Patients with at least 1 functional CYP3A5*1 or CYP3A4*1B allele require significantly higher doses of cyclosporine to reach target drug levels compared to patients with the CYP3A4*1 or CYP3A5*3 alleles.

Keywords: genetic polymorphism, Pharmacokinetics, immunosuppression, Cyclosporine, Sirolimus