A Pilot Study of Nephrogenic Probiotics to Further Improve an Already Stabilized Graft Function After Kidney Transplantation

Transplant Proc. 2023 Nov;55(9):2090-2094. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2023.08.011. Epub 2023 Oct 7.


Background: The majority of kidney recipients are a subset of chronic kidney disease. Our previous study demonstrated that the combination of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei (Lm) had the highest clearance ability of uremic toxins and improved kidney function in a mouse model. This study aimed to evaluate Lm in improving graft function, effects on immunosuppressants, and safety in transplant recipients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 24 patients. Twelve of them take Lm regularly; we compared the creatinine measurements and estimated glomerular filtration rate 3 months before and after Lm using a 2-tailed Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test while also evaluating the drug level of immunosuppressants and infection events. Other 12 patients who do not have Lm for evaluation of laboratory calibration and compared the proportion of improving creatinine using Fisher's exact test.

Results: The creatinine decreased by 0.06 mg/dL (P = .02), and the estimated glomerular filtration rate increased by 3.1 mL/min/1.73 m2 (P = .03) after Lm supplementation. This pilot study revealed the association of higher incidence (odds ratio 13.3, 95% CI 1.64-77.2, P = .01) of decreasing creatinine in transplant recipients using Lm. Furthermore, results showed a trend of higher trough levels of tacrolimus and sirolimus, which might provide a potential strategy for reducing the dosages of immunosuppressants.

Conclusion: Our findings revealed an association between a higher incidence of decreasing creatinine in kidney transplant recipients using Lm, which may also provide a potential strategy for reducing the acquired dosages of immunosuppressants.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Creatinine
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Mice
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tacrolimus


  • Creatinine
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Tacrolimus