The efficacy of inhaled nanoparticle tacrolimus in preventing rejection in an orthotopic rat lung transplant model

Nitin Andrew Das, Jay I. Peters, Jeremy D. Simmons, Yibo Wang, Kevin P. O'Donnell, Daniel T. DeArmond, Jacqueline J. Coalson, Edward G. Brooks, Scott B. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective The immunosuppressive efficacy of inhaled nanoparticle tacrolimus was compared with systemic tacrolimus in a rodent allogeneic lung transplant model. Methods Sixteen rats underwent allogeneic left orthotopic lung transplantation and were divided into 3 treatment groups: (1) inhaled nanoparticle tacrolimus: 6.4 mg tacrolimus/6.4 mg lactose twice per day; (2) intramuscular tacrolimus: 1 mg/kg tacrolimus once per day; and (3) inhaled lactose: 6.4 mg of lactose twice per day. Five days after transplant, the rats were necropsied and underwent histologic rejection grading and cytokine analysis. Trough levels of tacrolimus were measured in allograft, blood, and kidney. Results Both intramuscular (n = 6) and nanoparticle tacrolimus (n = 6) rats displayed lower histologic grades of rejection (mean scores 3.4 ± 0.6 and 4.6 ± 0.9, respectively) when compared with lactose rats (n = 4) (mean score 11.38 ± 0.5, P =.07). Systemic tacrolimus trough levels (median) were lower in nanoparticle tacrolimus–treated rats versus intramuscular-treated rats (29.2 vs 118.6 ng/g; P <.001 in kidney, and 1.5 vs 4.8 ng/mL; P =.01 in blood). Conclusions Inhaled nanoparticle tacrolimus provided similar efficacy in preventing acute rejection when compared with systemic tacrolimus while maintaining lower systemic levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2144-2151.e1
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • cytokine profile in acute rejection
  • inhaled nanoparticle
  • modified pathology score for rejection in rats
  • orthotopic rat lung transplant
  • regional immunosuppression
  • tacrolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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