Drug-interaction studies evaluating T-cell proliferation reveal distinct activity of dasatinib and imatinib in combination with cyclosporine A

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Development of small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia has been astonishingly successful; however, their off-target effects have generated both challenges and opportunities for extending their clinical application. Dasatinib and imatinib are two of the most commonly used tyrosine kinase inhibitors and both have been shown to impact T-cell function. Due to this activity, their use as potential immune suppressants has been proposed. In this report, we investigated drug interactions with cyclosporine A in suppressing T-cell proliferation. Dasatinib and imatinib were titrated against varying concentrations of cyclosporine in the cultures and T-cell proliferation assessed by 5-6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate, succinimidyl ester dye dilution. These proliferation data were then used to determine the combination index to evaluate additive, synergistic, or antagonistic interactions between the drugs. This analysis uncovered a number of different drug interactions affecting T-cell proliferation. Cyclosporine had an additive or synergistic effect on T-cell proliferation when combined with dasatinib and imatinib for 3 of the 4 methods of stimulating T-cell proliferation. However, when T cells were stimulated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies, this interaction was found to be strongly antagonistic at low dasatinib concentrations. In contrast, this strong antagonism was not observed when imatinib was used in combination with cyclosporine A. This study suggests drug interactions affecting T cells may need to be carefully taken into account when using tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Furthermore, the technique to evaluate drug interactions is novel, and applicable to study any interaction affecting proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-621.e6
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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