We used RT-PCR for the molecular characterization of human renal graft rejection. The studies showed that intragraft display of mRNA encoding cytotoxic attack molecule granzyme B, and immunoregulatory cytokines IL-10 or IL-2 are correlates of acute rejection, and intrarenal expression of TGF-1 mRNA, of chronic rejection. The current immunosuppressive protocol involves the use of multiple drugs, each directed at a discrete site in the Tcell activation cascade and each with distinct side effects. The immunosuppressants can be classified as inhibitors of: transcription (CsA, tacrolimus); nucleotide synthesis (azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and mizoribine); growth factor signal transduction (sirolimus); and differentiation (DSG). Polyclonal antibodies and monoclonal antibodies directed at cell surface proteins are quite effective as induction therapy or anti-rejection drugs.
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