Blood protein binding of cyclosporine in transplant patients

J Clin Pharmacol. 1987 Mar;27(3):240-2. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1987.tb02192.x.


The objective of this study was to compare the binding of cyclosporine to blood proteins between four healthy subjects and five liver and eight renal transplant patients. Fresh heparinized blood was obtained, to which sufficient quantities of tritium-labelled cyclosporine and unlabelled cyclosporine were added to blood samples or red blood cell (RBC) suspensions. Concentrations of cyclosporine in whole blood, plasma, RBC suspension, and phosphate buffer were estimated by liquid scintigraphy. The blood:plasma ratio of cyclosporine in transplant patients was significantly lower (P less than .05) than that in healthy volunteers. The RBC:buffer ratio, a measure of affinity of RBCs for cyclosporine, was highest in those with liver transplants and lowest in those with kidney transplants. The unbound fraction of cyclosporine in plasma was less in transplant patients than in healthy volunteers. The results of this study indicate that there are differences in blood protein binding of cyclosporine between transplant patients that may contribute to the differences in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of this drug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cyclosporins / administration & dosage
  • Cyclosporins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Protein Binding
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Blood Proteins
  • Cyclosporins