1. The nephrotoxic effects of cyclosporin A may diminish the ability of the transplanted kidney to increase the glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow during infusion of dopamine or amino acids.

2. The present study included 16 renal transplant recipients transplanted for more than 6 months. Eight of the patients were on immunosuppressive treatment including cyclosporin A [cyclosporin A group; cyclosporin A dose, 2.7 ± 0.4 mg/kg; S-creatinine, 105 ± 12 μmol/l (means ± SEM)], whereas eight patients had never received cyclosporin A (non-cyclosporin A group; S-creatinine, 89 ± 6 μmol/l). The renal response to infusion of dopamine and of amino acids was investigated on two separate days. All clearance measurements were carried out at nadir cyclosporin A blood levels.

3. Effective renal plasma flow increased significantly in the non-cyclosporin A group and cyclosporin A group by 31.0 ± 4.1% and 35.9 ± 6.6%, respectively, during infusion of dopamine, and by 18.7 ± 6.7% and 13.9 ± 5.3%, respectively, during infusion of amino acids. Glomerular filtration rate increased significantly in the non-cyclosporin A group and cyclosporin A group by 15.7 ± 3.3% and 18.3 ± 4.7%, respectively, during infusion of dopamine, and by 18.9 ± 4.5% and 15.0 ± 3.7%, respectively, during infusion of amino acids.

4. Furthermore, the amino acid- and dopamine-induced increases in proximal tubular outflow (renal clearance of lithium) and calculated changes in renal proximal and distal tubular handling of sodium (and water) were comparable between the two groups of patients. Dopamine caused significant natriuresis in both groups.

5. In conclusion, low-dose cyclosporin A seems not to attenuate the renal haemodynamic and tubular response to infusions of amino acids and of dopamine in renal transplant recipients with a good graft function.

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