Effects of cyclosporin A on the development of immune-mediated interstitial nephritis

Kidney Int. 1988 Jun;33(6):1113-8. doi: 10.1038/ki.1988.119.


We examined the effect of daily cyclosporin A administration on the development and extent of tubulointerstitial nephritis produced in rats immunized with tubular basement membranes in adjuvant. Six mg/kg/day of cyclosporin A, given from the time of immunization, completely blocked the development of interstitial lesions and renal insufficiency. The administration of cyclosporin A after the development of interstitial nephritis also arrested the progression of the histological lesions. Both T cell-mediated and humoral immunity were markedly reduced by the administration of cyclosporin A, as evidenced by the near absence of delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and by the reduced production of anti-tubular basement membrane antibodies. Cell admixture experiments indicated that impairment of the delayed-type hypersensitivity response to tubular antigen was probably not the result of active suppression, and suggested that the protective effect of cyclosporin A might be secondary to its direct inhibitory action on the activation of nephritogenic T and B cells. Finally, the treatment of control rats with cyclosporin A, in the doses used, did not produce any detectable kidney damage nor did it impair renal function. We conclude that cyclosporin A can be an effective prophylactic and therapeutic agent in autoimmune interstitial nephritis in rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / administration & dosage
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / prevention & control
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cyclosporins / therapeutic use*
  • Freund's Adjuvant
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Kidney Tubules
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / immunology*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / prevention & control
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Cyclosporins
  • renal tubular antigen
  • Freund's Adjuvant