Treatment with rapamycin and mycophenolic acid reduces arterial intimal thickening produced by mechanical injury and allows endothelial replacement

Transplantation. 1995 Mar 15;59(5):655-61. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199503150-00002.


Rapamycin (RPM) and mycophenolic acid (MPA) inhibit immune responses by antagonizing IL-stimulated lymphocyte activation. These 2 drugs, used alone or preferably in combination, also significantly reduced the response of vascular cells to balloon-catheter arterial injury in rats. When rats were treated for 2 weeks with both drugs starting the day of injury, intimal thickening was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) 14 days after injury; however, by 44 days after injury, intimal thickening had progressed to the extent measured in arteries of untreated control rats. When RPM and MPA were administered for 3 days before and 13 days after injury, arterial intimal thickening was significantly (P = 0.024) reduced and endothelium had regrown in vessels analyzed 44 days after injury. Compared with initiation of treatment on the day of injury, starting the administration of RPM plus MPA before injury appears to limit the activation of cells or actions of factors responsible for the progression of intimal thickening that occurred after the administration of the drugs was terminated. RPM and MPA prevented the development of arterial intimal thickening in a model not dependent upon a rejection response. This direct antiproliferative action on smooth muscle cells by RPM and MPA, in vivo, may prevent the development of arterial intimal thickening associated with chronic rejection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta, Abdominal / injuries
  • Aorta, Thoracic / injuries
  • Carotid Artery Injuries
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacology
  • Drug Synergism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Polyenes / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Tunica Intima / drug effects
  • Tunica Intima / injuries
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Vascular Patency / drug effects


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Polyenes
  • Cyclosporine
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus