Current and future immunosuppressive strategies in renal transplantation

Pharmacotherapy. 2004 Sep;24(9):1159-76. doi: 10.1592/phco.24.13.1159.38094.


The past decade has witnessed the introduction of several new immunosuppressive agents. The availability of these new pharmacologic offerings has not diminished the challenge of achieving a balance of adequate graft protection while minimizing the consequences of excessive immunosuppression. For renal transplant recipients, maintenance immunosuppression generally consists of a calcineurin inhibitor in combination with an antiproliferative agent and a corticosteroid; more recently, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors have been used. Excellent results have been achieved at many transplant centers with combinations of these agents in a variety of protocols. Regimens designed to limit or eliminate calcineurin inhibitor and/or corticosteroid therapy are actively being pursued in the transplant community. Allograft tolerance and xenotransplantation are being studied, and the knowledge gained from the effort may help in the development of innovative strategies and new immunosuppressive agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunophilins* / pharmacokinetics
  • Immunophilins* / physiology
  • Immunophilins* / therapeutic use
  • Immunosuppression / trends*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents* / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Sirolimus / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Immunophilins
  • Sirolimus