Do calcineurin inhibitors influence the serum concentrations of mizoribine?

Takahisa Hiramitsu, Makoto Tsujita, Takayuki Yamamoto, Norihiko Goto, Shunji Narumi, Yoshihiko Watarai, Takaaki Kobayasi


Background: Mizoribine (MZR) is an antimetabolite that inhibits inosine-monophosphate dehydrogenase and has been used for preventing rejection in renal transplantation. However, the effect of calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) on the pharmacokinetics of MZR has not been shown. This study was performed to show the influence of CNIs (tacrolimus [Tac] or cyclosporine [CyA]) on the serum concentration of MZR.

Methods: Thirty-four living-donor renal transplant recipients administered a four-drug immunosuppressive therapy regimen (steroid, CNIs, basiliximab and MZR 6 mg/kg/day) were investigated. 20 recipients were treated with Tac and 14 were with CyA. Serum concentrations of MZR were obtained retrospectively at 464 points and at 243 points for each. Population pharmacokinetic (PPK) analysis was used to make pharmacokinetic models of serum MZR. After statistically evaluating the correlation of the pharmacokinetic models with the actual data, areas under the curves (AUCs) of each CNI were also estimated in these models and statistically evaluated.

Results: The mean values of the PPK parameters (absorption lag time, absorption rate constant [Ka], apparent volume of distribution [V/F] and oral clearance of MZR [CLMZR/F]) were 0.600 hr and 0.643 hr, 1.14/hr and 0.911/hr, 0.732×body weight (WT) (L) and 0.784×WT (L), and 1.64×creatinine clearance (CLcr) (L/hr) and 1.81×CLcr (L/hr), respectively. Moreover, the serum concentrations of MZR at all-time points were estimated with these parameters. The correlation coefficients between the individual actual and estimated serum concentrations of MZR in the Tac group and the CyA group were 0.988 and 0.992, respectively. The average value of the AUCs of MZR corrected by the CLcr in the Tac group, and the CyA group were 0.61±0.21 and 0.55±0.19 (average value±standard deviation) for each (p=0.19).

Conclusion: These findings suggest the pharmacokinetics of MZR were well-described by 1-compartment model with first-order absorption. Moreover, concomitant use of CNIs, e.g., Tac and CyA, may have no significant influence on the pharmacokinetics of MZR.


Mizoribine, Calcineurin inhibitors, Population pharmacokinetics

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