Background: FTY720 is a novel immunomodulator that may provide an opportunity for a reduction in calcineurin inhibitor dosage in transplant recipients with renal/hepatic side effects. However, the effects of FTY720 on renal or hepatic hemodynamics are unknown. The aim of this study was to establish the hemodynamic and renal actions of FTY720 at therapeutically relevant dosages.
Methods: The effects of acute and repeat oral administration of FTY720 on systemic, renal, and hepatic hemodynamics were investigated in the anesthetized male Lewis rat. Renal function and renal tubular parameters were examined in animals that received repeat high dosage of FTY720.
Results: Seven-day oral administration of FTY720 did not cause any significant changes in markers of hepatocyte injury, nor did it cause any reduction in renal function (elevated urea and creatinine). Histological examination of liver and kidney from animals treated with repeat FTY720 for 1 or 3 weeks did not reveal any sclerosis, tubular changes, infiltrates, or fibrosis. Hepatocyte, vascular, and biliary structures were normal. Compared with the vehicle (saline), oral administration of FTY720 at dosages up to 5 mg/kg/day for 1 week did not have any significant effects on systemic, hepatic, or renal hemodynamics. Five min after intravenous FTY720 administration (1 mg/kg), mean arterial pressure (MAP) rose to 114+/-3.3% of baseline (P <0.01) before returning to the normal range within 30-45 min. Lower doses of FTY720 (0.3 and 0.5 mg/kg, i.v.) did not affect MAP. Renal cortical perfusion, renal artery blood flow, and renal vascular resistance were not altered by FTY720 at i.v. doses up to 1 mg/kg. Animals that received FTY720 (5 mg/kg/day) for 3 weeks showed a significant reduction in body weight (-4.8+/-1% of baseline at 3 weeks, P <0.001); however, weight-adjusted creatinine clearance, 24 h urine production, and urine osmolality were not different from those in control animals (0.71+/-0.1 vs. 0.74+/-0.1 ml/min/100 g, 2.63+/-0.2 vs. 3.12+/-0.2 ml/100 g, and 2003+/-33 vs. 1966+/-56 mOsm/kg, respectively). FTY720 at the same repeat oral dosage was, nevertheless, associated with a significantly lower 24 h sodium excretion and a significantly lower fractional excretion of sodium compared with those in control animals (223.4+/-35 vs. 304.5+/-50 micromol/100 g and 1.75+/-0.3 vs. 2.23+/-0.3%, respectively; P <0.05).
Conclusions: Our data indicate that, at least in the short term, oral FTY720 does not cause any significant adverse effects on renal or hepatic hemodynamics, nor does it cause any reduction in glomerular perfusion and thus may provide reasonable rescue/add-on therapy in calcineurin-inhibitor treated transplant recipients. At high repeat oral dosages, however, FTY720 may alter renal handling of sodium.