To compare the effect of tacrolimus (FK506) and cyclosporine (CsA) on plasma lipoproteins in renal transplant recipients receiving maintainance therapy, the following prospective study was undertaken. Blood from nineteen recipients on tacrolimus (FK group) and from twenty-one on CsA (CsA group) was collected at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 10-month intervals. Plasma lipids, lipoproteins and oxidation properties of lipoproteins were determined. Plasma total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (apoB) were substantially increased in both groups, although only the CsA group showed significant differences at all time intervals and at the baseline. High density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein A varied in both groups at time intervals from the baseline, but not significantly. The susceptibility to oxidation of LDL isolated from the FK group at all times was uninfluenced by the tacrolimus treatment, and values were comparable to those obtained from LDL isolated from healthy individuals. A significantly higher susceptibility to oxidation as indicated by the shorter time required to start the formation of conjugated dienes was observed in LDL isolated from the CsA group at 3 and at 6 months of therapy. Tacrolimus-treated patients appear to have less hyperlipidemic and have LDL less susceptible to oxidation than patients treated with CsA.
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