Low-dose sirolimus combined with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and statin stabilizes renal function and reduces glomerular proliferation in poor prognosis IgA nephropathy

Josep M Cruzado, Rafael Poveda, Meritxell Ibernón, Montserrat Díaz, Xavier Fulladosa, Marta Carrera, Joan Torras, Oriol Bestard, Itziar Navarro, José Ballarín, Ramón Romero, Josep M Grinyó
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2011, 26 (11): 3596-602

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of new therapeutic strategies for IgA nephropathy. Low-dose sirolimus inhibits mesangial cell proliferation and renal fibrosis in animal models.

METHODS: We performed a pilot, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of low-dose sirolimus in patients with a high-risk IgA nephropathy. Twenty-three patients with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) within 30-60 mL/min and/or proteinuria >1 g/day were randomly assigned to low-dose sirolimus plus enalapril and atorvastatin (SRL group, n = 14) or enalapril plus atorvastatin (CONTROL group, n = 9). Primary composite end point was variation of haematuria, proteinuria and blood pressure. Secondary end points were isotopic GFR, renal histology evaluated by Oxford classification and safety parameters evaluated at 6 and 12 months.

RESULTS: Primary end point improved significantly in the SRL group at 12 months. Regarding isotopic GFR, patients included in the CONTROL group lost 8 mL/min/1.73 m(2), whereas those in the SRL arm improved 5 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (P = 0.03). Proteinuria decreased similarly in both study groups. At 1 year, SRL treatment was associated with a significant reduction of mesangial and endocapillary proliferation, whereas glomerular sclerosis, tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis were similar. Sirolimus was well tolerated; all patients remained on therapy at 12 months.

CONCLUSION: The addition of low-dose sirolimus to enalapril and statin is safe, stabilizes renal function and reduces glomerular proliferative lesions in patients with poor prognosis IgA nephropathy.

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