Cyclosporine: a review

J Transplant. 2012;2012:230386. doi: 10.1155/2012/230386. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


The discovery and use of cyclosporine since its inception into clinical use in the late 1970s has played a major role in the advancement of transplant medicine. While it has improved rates of acute rejection and early graft survival, data on long-term survival of renal allografts is less convincing. The finding of acute reversible nephrotoxicity and nephrotoxicity in nonrenal transplants has since led to the widely accepted view that there is a chronic more irreversible component to this agent as well. Since that time, there has been intense interest in finding protocols which seek to minimize and even avoid the use of calcineurin inhibitors altogether. We seek to review cyclosporine in terms of its mechanism of action, pathophysiologic, and histologic features associated with acute and chronic nephrotoxicity and recent studies looking to avoid its toxic side effects.