Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of mycophenolic acid in stable renal transplant recipients treated with low doses of mycophenolate mofetil

M Brunet, J Martorell, F Oppenheimer, J Vilardell, O Millán, M Carrillo, I Rojo, J Corbella
Transplant International: Official Journal of the European Society for Organ Transplantation 2000, 13 Suppl 1: S301-5
Suboptimal doses of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) are frequently employed in renal transplant (Tx) patients, with drug-related side effects or low weight. The aim of this study was to compare the mycophenolic acid (MPA) pharmacokinetic profile and its pharmacodynamic effect on patients receiving either standard (2 g) or low (1.5 g or 1 g) MMF doses, in order to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of such low doses in inhibiting IMPDH activity. Twenty-seven stable renal Tx recipients aged 18-65 years, with a post-Tx follow-up of 38.5 +/- 44.8 months (6-166 months), receiving 1 g (n = 10), 0.75 g (n = 7) and 0.5 g (n = 10) MMF twice a day in association with cyclosporine and prednisone, were included. The control group was made up of untreated healthy volunteers (n = 5). Plasma concentrations of MPA were analyzed by reverse-phase HPLC. IMPDH activity was determined in lymphocytes by the measurement of 3H release from [2,8-(3)H] hypoxantine. The mean value of areas under the concentration-time curves (AUC(0-12)) of MPA throughout the 12-h dosing interval in patients treated with 2 g was higher than the corresponding data in patients receiving 1.5 g or 1 g bid, but no statistical differences were observed between the three groups. There was no correlation between MPA-AUC(0-12) values and MMF dose (expressed in g/day or g/kg per day). Predose MPA concentrations correlated only weakly with the respective MPA-AUC(0-12) values (r2 from 0.385 to 0.655), whereas an acceptable correlation was observed between MPA Cmax and MPA-AUC(0-12) (r2 from 0.626 to 0.759) in 2 g, 1.5 g, and 1 g MMF groups. An inverse relationship between MPA concentrations and IMPDH activity was observed. In general, the maximum MPA concentration was achieved from 1 h to 2 h after dosing, and the maximum inhibition of IMPDH was also from 1 h to 2 h after dosing. The evaluation of IMPDH activity demonstrated that there was a significant statistical difference between samples from 0 to 1 h (P = 0.008) and 0 to 2 h (P = 0.04). In conclusion, concentration-time profiles of renal transplant recipients administered 0.75 g and 0.5 g twice a day are slightly lower than those from the 2 g group, but nor significantly. On the other hand, inhibition of IMPDH activity was comparable in the three groups, indicating considerable interindividual pharmacodynamic variability. Pharmacodynamic monitoring of the degree of immunosuppression and its correlation with MPA plasma concentrations will be assessed further in future studies.

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