Contractile effects of tacrolimus in human and rat isolated renal arteries

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Summary1 We tested the vasoactive properties of the immunosuppressive drug FK 506 (tacrolimus) in preconstricted rat and human isolated renal arteries in vitro.2 In rat renal arteries, tacrolimus (3, 10 μM) showed a direct and dose-dependent contractile effect by maximally 23 μm (10% of the noradrenaline effect), which was only observed in the presence of intact endothelium. Moreover, a lower concentration of tacrolimus (1 μM) potentiated pressor responses to the sympathetic neurotransmitter noradrenaline but not to ATP in this species. ATP- (0.01–10 μM) induced vasodilation was not affected by tacrolimus (1 μM).3 In contrast, in human interlobar arteries, tacrolimus failed to induce direct vasoconstriction and did not significantly potentiate constrictor responses to noradrenaline. Acetylcholine-(1 μM) induced vasodilation was much smaller in human than in rat renal arteries suggesting the lack of functional endothelium in the human preparation.4 The findings suggest that tacrolimus releases an endothelium-derived constricting factor in rat renal arteries to increase vascular tone and to potentiate pressor responses to noradrenaline. In human interlobar arteries, this effect of tacrolimus is not observed probably because of the absence of functional endothelium or the necessary mediator mechanism.

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