The effect of verapamil on cellular uptake, organ distribution, and pharmacology of cyclosporine
Verapamil has been shown to potentiate cyclosporine's effect in inhibiting lectin-stimulated proliferation of murine and human lymphocytes, and in prolonging graft survival in experimental heterotopic cardiac transplantation in rats. A series of experiments were designed to determine whether verapamil's effect occurred by increasing cyclosporine uptake or decreasing cyclosporine's clearance by lymphocytes utilizing human peripheral blood lymphocytes and radiolabeled cyclosporine. Verapamil had no effect. The distribution of radiolabeled cyclosporine was also studied in mice that had been given verapamil (10 mg/kg) 1 hr prior to cyclosporine injection. No significant changes in organ distribution occurred. Lectin-stimulated release of intracellular ionized calcium was studied using a flurometric technique (Quin-2 and Fura-2). Neither cyclosporine nor verapamil had any effect on either lectin-stimulated or phorbol ester-stimulated release of intracellular ionized calcium. Phorbol ester and subproliferative doses of lectin were used to determine the effect of cyclosporine and verapamil on protein kinase C-mediated lymphocyte activation. Cyclosporine inhibited phorbol ester stimulated proliferation and verapamil potentiated this inhibition. Verapamil does not change cell or organ uptake of cyclosporine, and it does not affect the initial increase in intracellular ionized calcium that occurs with lymphocyte activation. Verapamil potentiates cyclosporine in inhibiting protein kinase C-mediated events in lymphocyte activation.