Ketoconazole retards metabolic degradation of tacrolimus through its effect on the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system and allows reduction in treatment costs. Enzyme activity is determined by a single nucleotide polymorphism (*1/*3) in the CYP3A5 gene.Methods
We prospectively investigated the impact of this polymorphism on tacrolimus concentration in a cohort of 79 renal transplant recipients on ketoconazole. Genotyping was carried out by using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism technique. Dose-adjusted trough level (C0) was calculated at baseline and at 3, 7, 15, 30, and 60 days.Results
The baseline C0 was significantly lower in those with at least one *1 allele [44.95±14.12 vs. 63.43±14.72 (ng/ml)/(mg/kg/day), P<0.0001]. After starting ketoconazole in all genotypes, dose-normalized C0 increased and the cost of therapy decreased. Compared with baseline, the magnitude of increase was 112% and 79% in those without and with *1 allele, respectively (P<0.001). The cost savings were 32% and 39% in mycophenolate mofetil-treated and 47% and 61% in azathioprine-treated patients who were with and without one *1 allele, respectively.Conclusion
We show that the CYP3A5*1/*3 polymorphism is an important determinant of the response to inhibition of tacrolimus metabolism by ketoconazole, with a 30% greater inhibition in those lacking *1 allele. This finding will allow better dose adjustment and minimize exposure to subtherapeutic or toxic concentrations.