Influence of sirolimus on cyclosporine-induced pancreas islet dysfunction in rats

Am J Transplant. 2009 Sep;9(9):2024-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02751.x. Epub 2009 Jul 16.


This study was performed to investigate the effect of sirolimus (SRL) on cyclosporine (CsA)-induced pancreatic islet dysfunction in rats. Three separate studies were performed. First, diabetogenic effect of SRL was evaluated with three different doses (0.15, 0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg). Second, rats were treated with SRL (0.3 mg/kg) with or without CsA (15 mg/kg) for 4 weeks. Third, rats were treated with CsA for 4 weeks, and then switched to SRL for 4 weeks. The effect of SRL on CsA-induced pancreatic islet dysfunction was evaluated by an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test, plasma insulin concentration, HbA1c level, HOMA-R index, immunohistochemistry of insulin and pancreatic beta islet cell mass. The SRL treatment increased blood glucose concentration in a dose-dependent manner. The combined treatment with SRL and CsA increased blood glucose concentration, Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level, HOMA-R [fasting insulin (mU/mL) x fasting glucose (mmol/L)]/22.5] index and decreased plasma insulin concentration, immunoreactivity of insulin and pancreatic beta islet cell mass compared with rats treated with CsA. CsA withdrawal for 4 weeks improved pancreatic beta-cell function and structure. However, conversion from CsA to SRL further increased blood glucose levels compared with the rats converted from vehicle to SRL. The results of our study demonstrate that SRL is diabetogenic and aggravates CsA-induced pancreatic islet dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects*
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / pharmacology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Insulin / blood
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Insulin
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Cyclosporine
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Deoxyguanosine
  • Sirolimus