Sanglifehrin a blocks key dendritic cell functions in vivo and promotes long-term allograft survival together with low-dose CsA

Am J Transplant. 2007 Apr;7(4):789-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2006.01729.x.


Sanglifehrin A (SFA) is a novel compound with unsurpassed cyclophilin-binding affinity, but relatively low direct antilymphocytic activity. Here, we report the capacity of SFA to selectively inhibit key dendritic cell (DC) functions in vivo and to suppress acute and chronic heart allograft rejection. We show that in vivo, SFA profoundly decreases DC receptor-mediated endocytosis and macropinocytosis and DC-T-cell allostimulatory activity. Furthermore, SFA abrogates >90% of IL-12p70 production in vivo while having no significant effect on IL-10 and TNF-alpha production. In a rat vascularized heart transplant model, SFA alone did not prevent graft rejection and rejection occurred within 23 days after low-dose CsA, whereas addition of SFA to low-dose CsA promoted long-term graft survival (median survival time >100 days; p = 0.0007). With respect to chronic rejection, SFA + CsA almost completely prevented graft arteriosclerosis compared to animals treated with CsA alone and controls. We propose that SFA represents a novel class of immunophilin-binding immunosuppressants with high activity against DCs and the development of graft vasculopathy in CsA-treated recipients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use*
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control*
  • Graft Survival / immunology
  • Graft Survival / physiology*
  • Heart Transplantation / immunology*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lactones / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Animal
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Rats, Inbred WF
  • Spiro Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Lactones
  • Spiro Compounds
  • sanglifehrin A
  • Cyclosporine