Journal of the American Society of Nephrology vol:20 issue:11 pages:2468-2480
The contributions of donor kidney quality (partially determined by donor age), allograft rejection, and calcineurin inhibitor nephrotoxicity on the progression of histologic damage of renal allografts are not completely defined. Moreover, the determinants of individual susceptibility to calcineurin inhibitor nephrotoxicity are not known but may include variability in drug transport and metabolism. In a prospective cohort of 252 adult renal allograft recipients treated with a combination of tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and corticosteroids, we studied 744 renal allograft biopsies obtained regularly from time of transplantation for 3 yr. We assessed determinants of histologic evolution, including tacrolimus exposure, renal P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) expression, and polymorphisms in the CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and ABCB1 genes. Within the first 3 yr after transplantation, we noted a progressive increase in interstitial fibrosis, tubular atrophy, glomerulosclerosis, and vascular intimal thickening. Older donor age, absence of P-glycoprotein expression at the apical membrane of tubular epithelial cells, and combined donor-recipient homozygosity for the C3435T variant in ABCB1 significantly associated with increased susceptibility to chronic allograft damage independent of graft quality at implantation. Changes in graft function over time reflected these associations with donor age and ABCB1 polymorphisms, but it was acute T cell-mediated and antibody-mediated rejection that determined early graft survival. In conclusion, the effects of older donor age reach beyond the quality of the allograft at implantation and continue to be important for histologic evolution in the posttransplantation period. In addition, ABCB1 genotype and expression of P-glycoprotein in renal tubular epithelial cells determine susceptibility to chronic tubulointerstitial damage of transplanted kidneys.