Changes in the Immune System of Female Wistar Rats After Exposure to Immunosuppressive Treatment During Pregnancy

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Abstract

This experimental study assessed the impact of medications frequently used after kidney transplantation on the immune system of pregnant female Wistar rats. The study evaluates medications, both approved and contraindicated during pregnancy in common therapeutic combinations. The study was conducted on 32 female Wistar rats, subjected to immunosuppressive regimens most commonly used in therapy of human kidney transplant recipients (cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone; tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone; and cyclosporine A, everolimus and prednisone). The animals received drugs by oral gavage 2 weeks before pregnancy and at 3 weeks of pregnancy. We found drug regimen-dependent differences in cytometry from spleen. Many subpopulations of lymphocytes were suppressed in rats treated with cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone and tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone; the number of NK cells was increased in group of rats treated with cyclosporine A, everolimus and prednisone. We also found changes in histological examination of thymus and spleen of all treated dams. In cytokine assay, we noticed increasing levels of IL-17 with increasing doses of concanavalin A in control group and in group of dams treated with cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone. This increase was blocked in rats treated with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisone and cyclosporine A, everolimus and prednisone. Qualitative, quantitative and morphological changes of immune system in pharmacologically immunosuppressed females have been observed. Thymus structure, spleen composition and splenocytes IL-17 production were mostly affected in drug regimen-dependent manner.

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