Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Immunosuppressants

Immunosuppressants are a class of drugs widely used in the management of autoimmune conditions and organ transplant rejection. The general effect is dampening of the immune response. There are multiple targets in the immune system Immune system The body's defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs, as well as varied mechanisms in inhibiting inappropriate immune activity. Biologic agents are medications derived from living organisms that target particular components of the immune system Immune system The body's defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs. The targets can be tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) ( TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)), interleukins Interleukins Interleukins are a type of cytokines (signaling proteins) that communicate messages between different parts of the immune system. The majority of interleukins are synthesized by helper CD4 T lymphocytes along with other cells such as monocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells. Interleukins ( ILs ILs Interleukins are a type of cytokines (signaling proteins) that communicate messages between different parts of the immune system. The majority of interleukins are synthesized by helper CD4 T lymphocytes along with other cells such as monocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells. Interleukins), or B- or T-cell activity. Calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors halt the activity of calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo, a phosphatase involved in T-cell activation. Corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis interfere with the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell's progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle of inflammatory cells and modify the activity of other immune components. mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome inhibitors are proliferation signal inhibitors, reducing immune-cell proliferation. Some immunosuppressants, such as cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 agents, have antineoplastic activity; these are used in rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a symmetric, inflammatory polyarthritis and chronic, progressive, autoimmune disorder. Presentation occurs most commonly in middle-aged women with joint swelling, pain, and morning stiffness (often in the hands). Rheumatoid Arthritis, as prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins for transplant rejection, and for malignant diseases.

Last updated: Jul 11, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Immunosuppressants are a class of drugs that decrease the activity of the immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs in conditions such as autoimmune diseases Autoimmune diseases Disorders that are characterized by the production of antibodies that react with host tissues or immune effector cells that are autoreactive to endogenous peptides. Selective IgA Deficiency, organ transplantation Organ Transplantation Transplantation is a procedure that involves the removal of an organ or living tissue and placing it into a different part of the body or into a different person. Organ transplantations have become the therapeutic option of choice for many individuals with end-stage organ failure. Organ Transplantation, and malignancies.

Immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs

  • The immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs provides defense (immunity) against invading pathogens, discriminating self from nonself to protect the host.
  • 2 lines of defense Lines of Defense Inflammation (that overlap):
    • Innate immunity Innate immunity The capacity of a normal organism to remain unaffected by microorganisms and their toxins. It results from the presence of naturally occurring anti-infective agents, constitutional factors such as body temperature and immediate acting immune cells such as natural killer cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation (which is nonspecific), including:
      • Phagocytes
      • Cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response (e.g., interleukins Interleukins Interleukins are a type of cytokines (signaling proteins) that communicate messages between different parts of the immune system. The majority of interleukins are synthesized by helper CD4 T lymphocytes along with other cells such as monocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells. Interleukins)
    • Adaptive immunity (based on specific antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination recognition), including:
      • T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions (helper, cytolytic, and regulatory (suppressor) cells)
      • B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions (which make antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions)
  • These components are targets for the different agents of immunosuppression.

Classification

Immunosuppressants can be classified into various categories of drugs with different targets in the immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs and varying mechanisms of action:

  • Biologic agents
  • Calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors
  • Corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis
  • mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome inhibitors
  • Cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 agents and other immunomodulating agents

Biologic Agents

Definition

Biologic agents are derived from living organisms (e.g., humans, animals Animals Unicellular or multicellular, heterotrophic organisms, that have sensation and the power of voluntary movement. Under the older five kingdom paradigm, animalia was one of the kingdoms. Under the modern three domain model, animalia represents one of the many groups in the domain eukaryota. Cell Types: Eukaryotic versus Prokaryotic, or microorganisms) and engineered to suppress specific components or pathways of the immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs.

Nomenclature

Names of drugs are based on their structure:

  • “-cept”:  fused receptor and the Fc part of human IgG1
  • “-mab”: a monoclonal antibody (mAb)
  • “-ximab”:  a chimeric mAb
  • “-zumab”: a humanized mAb
  • “-umab”: a fully human mAb

Drugs

  • B-cell inhibitors:
    • Belimumab
    • Ocrelizumab 
    • Rituximab 
  • Interleukin inhibitors:
    • IL-1 inhibition:
      • Anakinra
      • Canakinumab
      • Rilonacept
    • IL-6 inhibition:
      • Sarilumab 
      • Tocilizumab
    • IL-17 inhibition:
      • Ixekizumab 
      • Secukinumab 
    • IL-12/23 blockade: 
      • Guselkumab 
      • Ustekinumab
  • Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) ( TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)) inhibitors:
  • T-cell inhibition:
    • Abatacept

B-cell inhibitors

  • Inhibition of B-cell activity reduces inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation and decreases immune response by:
    • ↓ Antibody production
    • Antigen presentation Antigen presentation The process by which antigen is presented to lymphocytes in a form they can recognize. This is performed by antigen presenting cells (apcs). Some antigens require processing before they can be recognized. Antigen processing consists of ingestion and partial digestion of the antigen by the apc, followed by presentation of fragments on the cell surface. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation by B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions to T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions 
    • ↓ T-cell activation by B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions
    • ↓ Production of proinflammatory cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response
  • These drugs are available in IV form, with belimumab also administered SC.
Table: Biologic agents against B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions
Belimumab Ocrelizumab Rituximab
Mechanism of action mAb prevents binding of B-lymphocyte stimulator protein to B-lymphocyte receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors → ↓ survival of B lymphocytes B lymphocytes Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions mAb binds to the cell-surface antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination CD20 of B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions, facilitating cell killing through:
Indications
  • Lupus nephritis Lupus nephritis Glomerulonephritis associated with autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus nephritis is histologically classified into 6 classes: class I – normal glomeruli, class II – pure mesangial alterations, class III – focal segmental glomerulonephritis, class IV – diffuse glomerulonephritis, class V – diffuse membranous glomerulonephritis, and class VI – advanced sclerosing glomerulonephritis (the world health organization classification 1982). Diffuse Proliferative Glomerulonephritis
  • SLE SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Multiple sclerosis Sclerosis A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve. Wilms Tumor
  • CLL CLL Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a hematologic malignancy characterized by excess production of monoclonal B lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. When the involvement is primarily nodal, the condition is called small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). The disease usually presents in older adults, with a median age of 70 years. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis A multisystemic disease of a complex genetic background. It is characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) leading to damage in any number of organs. The common features include granulomatous inflammation of the respiratory tract and kidneys. Most patients have measurable autoantibodies (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies) against myeloblastin. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
  • Microscopic polyangiitis Microscopic polyangiitis A primary systemic vasculitis of small- and some medium-sized vessels. It is characterized by a tropism for kidneys and lungs, positive association with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), and a paucity of immunoglobulin deposits in vessel walls. Vasculitides
  • NHL
  • Pemphigus vulgaris Pemphigus vulgaris Bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus vulgaris are two different blistering autoimmune diseases. In pemphigus vulgaris, autoantibodies attack the desmosomal proteins, which connect the keratinocytes to one another. This attack results in a more severe, potentially fatal condition with fragile, flaccid blisters, usually with significant mucosal involvement. Bullous Pemphigoid and Pemphigus Vulgaris
  • RA
Adverse effects
  • Anaphylactic reaction
  • Cardiovascular effects (e.g., MI MI MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction, VF VF Ventricular fibrillation (VF or V-fib) is a type of ventricular tachyarrhythmia (> 300/min) often preceded by ventricular tachycardia. In this arrhythmia, the ventricle beats rapidly and sporadically. The ventricular contraction is uncoordinated, leading to a decrease in cardiac output and immediate hemodynamic collapse. Ventricular Fibrillation (V-fib))
  • Cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (e.g., hepatitis B Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus, which belongs to the Orthohepadnavirus genus and the Hepadnaviridae family. Most individuals with acute HBV infection are asymptomatic or have mild, self-limiting symptoms. Chronic infection can be asymptomatic or create hepatic inflammation, leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B Virus reactivation Reactivation Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2)
  • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
  • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
  • PML PML An opportunistic viral infection of the central nervous system associated with conditions that impair cell-mediated immunity (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other immunologic deficiency syndromes; hematologic neoplasms; immunosuppression; and collagen diseases). The causative organism is JC polyomavirus (JC virus) which primarily affects oligodendrocytes, resulting in multiple areas of demyelination. Clinical manifestations include dementia; ataxia; visual disturbances; and other focal neurologic deficits, generally progressing to a vegetative state within 6 months. JC Virus and BK Virus associated with JC virus JC Virus JC virus (JCV) is a small, nonenveloped, single-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Polyomaviridae family, which are ubiquitous in the human population. While the primary infection is usually asymptomatic, the infection leads to lifelong latency in the kidneys and lymphoid organs. JC Virus and BK Virus
  • Tumor lysis syndrome Tumor lysis syndrome Tumor lysis syndrome is a potentially lethal group of metabolic disturbances that occurs when large numbers of cancer cells are killed rapidly. The lysed cells release their intracellular contents into the bloodstream, resulting in the development of hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypocalcemia, and acute kidney injury. Tumor Lysis Syndrome
Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation
  • Hypersensitivity to drugs or their components
  • Individuals with a previous history or current history of PML PML An opportunistic viral infection of the central nervous system associated with conditions that impair cell-mediated immunity (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other immunologic deficiency syndromes; hematologic neoplasms; immunosuppression; and collagen diseases). The causative organism is JC polyomavirus (JC virus) which primarily affects oligodendrocytes, resulting in multiple areas of demyelination. Clinical manifestations include dementia; ataxia; visual disturbances; and other focal neurologic deficits, generally progressing to a vegetative state within 6 months. JC Virus and BK Virus
  • Severely immunocompromised immunocompromised A human or animal whose immunologic mechanism is deficient because of an immunodeficiency disorder or other disease or as the result of the administration of immunosuppressive drugs or radiation. Gastroenteritis state
  • Individuals with severe and active infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (e.g., hepatitis B Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus, which belongs to the Orthohepadnavirus genus and the Hepadnaviridae family. Most individuals with acute HBV infection are asymptomatic or have mild, self-limiting symptoms. Chronic infection can be asymptomatic or create hepatic inflammation, leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B Virus infection)
Drug interactions
  • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines
  • Use with other immunosuppressants: ↑ immunosuppression
NHL: non-Hodgkin lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
PML PML An opportunistic viral infection of the central nervous system associated with conditions that impair cell-mediated immunity (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other immunologic deficiency syndromes; hematologic neoplasms; immunosuppression; and collagen diseases). The causative organism is JC polyomavirus (JC virus) which primarily affects oligodendrocytes, resulting in multiple areas of demyelination. Clinical manifestations include dementia; ataxia; visual disturbances; and other focal neurologic deficits, generally progressing to a vegetative state within 6 months. JC Virus and BK Virus: progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy An opportunistic viral infection of the central nervous system associated with conditions that impair cell-mediated immunity (e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other immunologic deficiency syndromes; hematologic neoplasms; immunosuppression; and collagen diseases). The causative organism is JC polyomavirus (JC virus) which primarily affects oligodendrocytes, resulting in multiple areas of demyelination. Clinical manifestations include dementia; ataxia; visual disturbances; and other focal neurologic deficits, generally progressing to a vegetative state within 6 months. JC Virus and BK Virus
RA: rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a symmetric, inflammatory polyarthritis and chronic, progressive, autoimmune disorder. Presentation occurs most commonly in middle-aged women with joint swelling, pain, and morning stiffness (often in the hands). Rheumatoid Arthritis
SLE SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Interleukin inhibitors

  • Interleukin inhibitors target cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response that transmit chemical signals between leukocytes Leukocytes White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils) as well as non-granular leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White Myeloid Cells: Histology to prepare them to attack against infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease.
  • Suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms of the action of cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response causes immune system Immune system The body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components. Primary Lymphatic Organs suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms and reduces inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation.
  • Administered IV and SC
Table: Biologic agents targeting IL-1 and IL-6
IL-1 inhibitors IL-6 inhibitors
Mechanism of action
  • Anakinra: IL1 receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors antagonist
  • Canakinumab: IgG1 mAb against IL-1beta
  • Rilonacept: IL-1 fused to a human IgG1 Fc Fc Crystallizable fragments composed of the carboxy-terminal halves of both immunoglobulin heavy chains linked to each other by disulfide bonds. Fc fragments contain the carboxy-terminal parts of the heavy chain constant regions that are responsible for the effector functions of an immunoglobulin (complement fixation, binding to the cell membrane via fc receptors, and placental transport). This fragment can be obtained by digestion of immunoglobulins with the proteolytic enzyme papain. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions domain
Sarilumab and tocilizumab:
  • IgG1 mAb against IL-6R
  • IL-6R antagonist
Indications
  • Anakinra: RA, neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease
  • Canakinumab: FMF, Still disease, CAPS, other periodic fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever syndromes
  • Rilonacept: CAPS, recurrent pericarditis Pericarditis Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, often with fluid accumulation. It can be caused by infection (often viral), myocardial infarction, drugs, malignancies, metabolic disorders, autoimmune disorders, or trauma. Acute, subacute, and chronic forms exist. Pericarditis
  • Sarilumab and tocilizumab: RA
  • Tocilizumab:
    • SS-associated ILD ILD Interstitial lung diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by the inflammation and fibrosis of lung parenchyma, especially the pulmonary connective tissue in the alveolar walls. It may be idiopathic (e.g., idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) or secondary to connective tissue diseases, medications, malignancies, occupational exposure, or allergens. Interstitial Lung Diseases
    • Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is a heterogeneous group of inflammatory diseases characterized by inflammation of 1 or more joints and is the most common pediatric rheumatic disease. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
    • Cytokine release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology syndrome
    • Giant-cell arteritis Giant-cell arteritis A systemic autoimmune disorder that typically affects medium and large arteries, usually leading to occlusive granulomatous vasculitis with transmural infiltrate containing multinucleated giant cells. The temporal artery is commonly involved. This disorder appears primarily in people over the age of 50. Symptoms include fever; fatigue; headache; visual impairment; pain in the jaw and tongue; and aggravation of pain by cold temperatures. Vasculitides
Adverse effects
  • ↓ WBCs, platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation
  • Hypersensitivity to the drug or components
  • Active infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (e.g., TB TB Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body. Approximately 30% of people around the world are infected with this pathogen, with the majority harboring a latent infection. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with active pulmonary infection coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis)
Drug interactions
  • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines
  • Use with other immunosuppressants: ↑ immunosuppression
CAPS: cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes
FMF: familial Mediterranean fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
SS-associated ILD ILD Interstitial lung diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by the inflammation and fibrosis of lung parenchyma, especially the pulmonary connective tissue in the alveolar walls. It may be idiopathic (e.g., idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) or secondary to connective tissue diseases, medications, malignancies, occupational exposure, or allergens. Interstitial Lung Diseases: systemic sclerosis Systemic sclerosis Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune condition characterized by diffuse collagen deposition and fibrosis. The clinical presentation varies from limited skin involvement to diffuse involvement of internal organs. Scleroderma–associated interstitial lung disease
Table: Biologic agents targeting IL-17 and IL-23
IL-17 inhibitors IL-17 inhibitors Ankylosing Spondylitis IL-17/23 inhibitors
Mechanism of action Secukinumab and ixekizumab: mAb against IL-17
  • Ustekinumab: mAb binding p40 of IL-17 and IL-23
  • Guselkumab: mAb binding p19 of IL-23
Indications
  • Ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis (also known as Bechterew’s disease or Marie-Strümpell disease) is a seronegative spondyloarthropathy characterized by chronic and indolent inflammation of the axial skeleton. Severe disease can lead to fusion and rigidity of the spine. Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • Nr-axSpA
  • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • Plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Crohn’s disease and UC UC Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis (ustekinumab only)
Adverse effects
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation Hypersensitivity to the drug or components
Drug interactions
  • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines
  • Use with other immunosuppressants: ↑ immunosuppression
Nr-axSpA: nonradiographic axial Axial Computed Tomography (CT) spondyloarthritis
UC UC Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis: ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis

Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) inhibitors

  • Agents bind BIND Hyperbilirubinemia of the Newborn to tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) ( TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)) and block its interaction with TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors.
  • All drugs approved for treatment of RA
Table: Biologic agents against TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)
Adalimumab Adalimumab A humanized monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to tnf-alpha and blocks its interaction with endogenous tnf receptors to modulate inflammation. It is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; psoriatic arthritis; Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) Certolizumab Certolizumab Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) Infliximab Infliximab A chimeric monoclonal antibody to tnf-alpha that is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) Etarnecept
Mechanism of action Fully human mAb against TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Humanized mAb against TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Chimeric mAb against TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) p75 TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors fusion protein Fusion protein Proteins that catalyze membrane fusion. Measles Virus
Indications
  • RA
  • Plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • AS
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is a heterogeneous group of inflammatory diseases characterized by inflammation of 1 or more joints and is the most common pediatric rheumatic disease. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • UC UC Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis
  • HS HS Hypertrophic scars and keloids are raised, red, and rigid (3 rs) scars that develop during cutaneous wound healing and are characterized by a local abnormal proliferation of fibroblasts with over-production of collagen. Over-expression of growth factors and decreased production of molecules that promote matrix breakdown appear to be involved in the etiology. Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars
  • RA
  • Plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • AS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Nr-axSpA
  • RA
  • Plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • AS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • UC UC Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis
  • RA
  • Plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • AS
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is a heterogeneous group of inflammatory diseases characterized by inflammation of 1 or more joints and is the most common pediatric rheumatic disease. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Adverse effects
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (including TB TB Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body. Approximately 30% of people around the world are infected with this pathogen, with the majority harboring a latent infection. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with active pulmonary infection coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis, hepatitis B Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a partially double-stranded DNA virus, which belongs to the Orthohepadnavirus genus and the Hepadnaviridae family. Most individuals with acute HBV infection are asymptomatic or have mild, self-limiting symptoms. Chronic infection can be asymptomatic or create hepatic inflammation, leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B Virus reactivation Reactivation Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2)
  • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
  • Heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
  • Demyelinating disease
  • Antibody formation
  • Cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome
  • Infliximab Infliximab A chimeric monoclonal antibody to tnf-alpha that is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): hepatic impairment
Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation
  • Hypersensitivity to the drug
  • Severe infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Moderate to severe heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
Drug interactions
  • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines
  • Use with other immunosuppressants: ↑ immunosuppression
AS: ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis (also known as Bechterew’s disease or Marie-Strümpell disease) is a seronegative spondyloarthropathy characterized by chronic and indolent inflammation of the axial skeleton. Severe disease can lead to fusion and rigidity of the spine. Ankylosing Spondylitis
HS HS Hypertrophic scars and keloids are raised, red, and rigid (3 rs) scars that develop during cutaneous wound healing and are characterized by a local abnormal proliferation of fibroblasts with over-production of collagen. Over-expression of growth factors and decreased production of molecules that promote matrix breakdown appear to be involved in the etiology. Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars: hidradenitis suppurativa Hidradenitis suppurativa Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition due to the inflammation of apocrine sweat glands and hair follicles. Most commonly, it occurs due to occlusion of the follicular component of pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Hidradenitis Suppurativa

T-cell inhibitor

  • Targets pathway for T-cell activation
  • Drug: abatacept
    • Fusion protein Fusion protein Proteins that catalyze membrane fusion. Measles Virus composed of cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA4) and the Fc Fc Crystallizable fragments composed of the carboxy-terminal halves of both immunoglobulin heavy chains linked to each other by disulfide bonds. Fc fragments contain the carboxy-terminal parts of the heavy chain constant regions that are responsible for the effector functions of an immunoglobulin (complement fixation, binding to the cell membrane via fc receptors, and placental transport). This fragment can be obtained by digestion of immunoglobulins with the proteolytic enzyme papain. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions portion of IgG1 
    • A selective costimulation Costimulation Adaptive Cell-mediated Immunity modulator
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Normally, CD80 and CD86 (B7 proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis present on antigen-presenting cells Antigen-presenting cells A heterogeneous group of immunocompetent cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cells. Traditional antigen-presenting cells include macrophages; dendritic cells; langerhans cells; and B-lymphocytes. Follicular dendritic cells are not traditional antigen-presenting cells, but because they hold antigen on their cell surface in the form of immune complexes for b-cell recognition they are considered so by some authors. Adaptive Immune Response (APCs)) interact with costimulatory receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors in T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions ( costimulation Costimulation Adaptive Cell-mediated Immunity).
    • Activation of T cell is inhibited by binding to CD80 and CD86 on APCs → blocking CD28 CD28 Costimulatory t-lymphocyte receptors that have specificity for CD80 antigen and CD86 antigen. Activation of this receptor results in increased t-cell proliferation, cytokine production and promotion of t-cell survival. T cells: Types and Functions interaction between APCs and T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
  • Indications:
    • RA
    • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is a heterogeneous group of inflammatory diseases characterized by inflammation of 1 or more joints and is the most common pediatric rheumatic disease. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
    • Psoriatic arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis A type of inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis, often involving the axial joints and the peripheral terminal interphalangeal joints. It is characterized by the presence of hla-b27-associated spondyloarthropathy, and the absence of rheumatoid factor. Psoriasis
  • Adverse effects:
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) ( COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)) exacerbation
    • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
    • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
    • Hypersensitivity to the drug
    • Active TB TB Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body. Approximately 30% of people around the world are infected with this pathogen, with the majority harboring a latent infection. Tuberculosis spreads through the air when a person with active pulmonary infection coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis infection
  • Drug interactions:
    • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines
    • Use with other immunosuppressants: ↑ immunosuppression

Calcineurin Inhibitors

Definition

Calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors are immunosuppressive agents that target calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo, a signaling phosphatase important in T-cell activation. 

Drugs

  • Cyclosporine
  • Pimecrolimus
  • Tacrolimus

Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Mechanism of action:

  • Binds to an intracellular protein, FKBP-12, and forms a complex with calcineurin-dependent proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis → ↓ calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo phosphatase activity → ↓ cellular immunity Cellular immunity Manifestations of the immune response which are mediated by antigen-sensitized T-lymphocytes via lymphokines or direct cytotoxicity. This takes place in the absence of circulating antibody or where antibody plays a subordinate role. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) 
  • Also blocks transcription Transcription Transcription of genetic information is the first step in gene expression. Transcription is the process by which DNA is used as a template to make mRNA. This process is divided into 3 stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. Stages of Transcription of cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response (e.g., IL-2, interferon gamma (IFN-γ)) transcription Transcription Transcription of genetic information is the first step in gene expression. Transcription is the process by which DNA is used as a template to make mRNA. This process is divided into 3 stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. Stages of Transcription, resulting in inhibition of T-cell activation
  • In vitro prevention of the release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of inflammatory cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response and mediators from mast cells Mast cells Granulated cells that are found in almost all tissues, most abundantly in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Like the basophils, mast cells contain large amounts of histamine and heparin. Unlike basophils, mast cells normally remain in the tissues and do not circulate in the blood. Mast cells, derived from the bone marrow stem cells, are regulated by the stem cell factor. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Cyclosporine:
    • Dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation forms:
      • Systemic: oral, IV
      • Ophthalmic
    • Systemic forms:
      • > 90% protein-binding
      • Hepatic metabolism ( cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury or CYP)
      • Excretion: mostly in feces
  • Pimecrolimus:
    • Topical
    • Low systemic absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption
    • Hepatic metabolism (CYP)
    • Excretion: feces
  • Tacrolimus:
    • Dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation forms:
      • Systemic: oral, IV
      • Topical
    • Systemic forms:
      • Variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption with oral form
      • Approximately 99% protein-binding
      • Hepatic metabolism (CYP)
      • Excretion: feces

Indications

  • Transplant rejection prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins and long-term treatment (e.g., graft-versus-host disease Graft-versus-host disease The clinical entity characterized by anorexia, diarrhea, loss of hair, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, growth retardation, and eventual death brought about by the graft vs host reaction. Transfusion Reactions)
  • RA
  • Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Atopic dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) 

Adverse effects

  • Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus (new onset, after transplantation)
  • Electrolyte disturbance ( hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium (K+) concentration >5.2 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain the serum K+ concentration between 3.5 and 5.2 mEq/L, despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hyperkalemia can be due to a variety of causes, which include transcellular shifts, tissue breakdown, inadequate renal excretion, and drugs. Hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia Hyperuricemia Excessive uric acid or urate in blood as defined by its solubility in plasma at 37 degrees c; greater than 0. 42 mmol per liter (7. 0 mg/dl) in men or 0. 36 mmol per liter (6. 0 mg/dl) in women. Gout, hypomagnesemia Hypomagnesemia A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of magnesium in the diet, characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Symptoms are paresthesias, muscle cramps, irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion, possibly requiring months to appear. Deficiency of body magnesium can exist even when serum values are normal. In addition, magnesium deficiency may be organ-selective, since certain tissues become deficient before others. Electrolytes)
  • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
  • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Myocardial hypertrophy Hypertrophy General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to cell enlargement and accumulation of fluids and secretions, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). Cellular Adaptation
  • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Prolonged QT Prolonged QT Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers)
  • Red-cell aplasia Aplasia Cranial Nerve Palsies
  • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax (e.g., lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum)

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Sensitivity to the drug or its components 
  • Hypersensitivity to polyoxyethylated castor oil Castor Oil Oil obtained from seeds of ricinus communis that is used as a cathartic and as a plasticizer. Laxatives (IV preparations)
  • Individuals with arthritis Arthritis Acute or chronic inflammation of joints. Osteoarthritis and psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis with primary or secondary immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome
  • Uncontrolled hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Uncontrolled severe infection

Drug interactions

  • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inducers: ↓ serum concentration of calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors 
  • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inhibitors: ↑ serum concentration of calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors 
  • Grapefruit juice: increases the serum concentration of calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors
  • Live vaccines: Calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors enhance the adverse effects of live vaccines. 
  • Statins Statins Statins are competitive inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase in the liver. HMG-CoA reductase is the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. Inhibition results in lowered intrahepatocytic cholesterol formation, resulting in up-regulation of LDL receptors and, ultimately, lowering levels of serum LDL and triglycerides. Statins: Cyclosporine increases serum concentration of statins Statins Statins are competitive inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase in the liver. HMG-CoA reductase is the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. Inhibition results in lowered intrahepatocytic cholesterol formation, resulting in up-regulation of LDL receptors and, ultimately, lowering levels of serum LDL and triglycerides. Statins.

Corticosteroids

Definition

Corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis have a role in the immune response, inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, and metabolism. These hormonal agents interfere with the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle of inflammatory cells and other inflammatory components (e.g., cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response, enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes, proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis). 

Drugs

Include (but not limited to):

  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Prednisolone 
  • Prednisone

Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Mechanism of action:
    • The glucocorticoid receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors is within the cytoplasm, and with glucocorticoid binding, gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics transcription Transcription Transcription of genetic information is the first step in gene expression. Transcription is the process by which DNA is used as a template to make mRNA. This process is divided into 3 stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. Stages of Transcription and translation Translation Translation is the process of synthesizing a protein from a messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript. This process is divided into three primary stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. Translation is catalyzed by structures known as ribosomes, which are large complexes of proteins and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Stages and Regulation of Translation for inflammatory leukocytes Leukocytes White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils) as well as non-granular leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White Myeloid Cells: Histology and structural cells are inhibited. 
    • ↓ In proinflammatory cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response, chemokines Chemokines Class of pro-inflammatory cytokines that have the ability to attract and activate leukocytes. They can be divided into at least three structural branches: c; cc; and cxc; according to variations in a shared cysteine motif. Adaptive Cell-mediated Immunity, cell adhesion Adhesion The process whereby platelets adhere to something other than platelets, e.g., collagen; basement membrane; microfibrils; or other ‘foreign’ surfaces. Coagulation Studies molecules, and other components involved in the inflammatory response
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics vary with type of corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis.

Indications

Conditions include the following:

  • Allergic/respiratory: 
    • Anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction
    • Asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma and COPD COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by progressive, largely irreversible airflow obstruction. The condition usually presents in middle-aged or elderly persons with a history of cigarette smoking. Signs and symptoms include prolonged expiration, wheezing, diminished breath sounds, progressive dyspnea, and chronic cough. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbation
    • Urticaria Urticaria Urticaria is raised, well-circumscribed areas (wheals) of edema (swelling) and erythema (redness) involving the dermis and epidermis with associated pruritus (itch). Urticaria is not a single disease but rather is a reaction pattern representing cutaneous mast cell degranulation. Urticaria (Hives) and angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema
    • Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disease that causes noncaseating granulomas. The exact etiology is unknown. Sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs and thoracic lymph nodes, but it can also affect almost every system in the body, including the skin, heart, and eyes, most commonly. Sarcoidosis
    • Interstitial lung disease
  • Dermatologic: 
    • Contact dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
    • Pemphigus vulgaris Pemphigus vulgaris Bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus vulgaris are two different blistering autoimmune diseases. In pemphigus vulgaris, autoantibodies attack the desmosomal proteins, which connect the keratinocytes to one another. This attack results in a more severe, potentially fatal condition with fragile, flaccid blisters, usually with significant mucosal involvement. Bullous Pemphigoid and Pemphigus Vulgaris
  • Endocrinologic: 
  • Gastroenterologic: 
    • Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare form of chronic liver disease in which the immune system attacks the liver causing inflammation. It predominantly affects women. Clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic cases to patients that present with symptoms of acute liver failure (jaundice, right upper quadrant pain). Autoimmune Hepatitis
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hematologic: 
    • Hemolytic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
    • Idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis thrombocytopenic purpura
    • Leukemia
    • Lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
  • Ophthalmologic: 
    • Uveitis Uveitis Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, the pigmented middle layer of the eye, which comprises the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. The condition is categorized based on the site of disease; anterior uveitis is the most common. Diseases of the Uvea
    • Keratoconjunctivitis Keratoconjunctivitis Simultaneous inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
  • Rheumatologic: 
    • Dermatomyositis Dermatomyositis A subacute or chronic inflammatory disease of muscle and skin, marked by proximal muscle weakness and a characteristic skin rash. The illness occurs with approximately equal frequency in children and adults. The skin lesions usually take the form of a purplish rash (or less often an exfoliative dermatitis) involving the nose, cheeks, forehead, upper trunk, and arms. The disease is associated with a complement mediated intramuscular microangiopathy, leading to loss of capillaries, muscle ischemia, muscle-fiber necrosis, and perifascicular atrophy. The childhood form of this disease tends to evolve into a systemic vasculitis. Dermatomyositis may occur in association with malignant neoplasms. Paraneoplastic Syndromes
    • RA
    • Polymyalgia rheumatica Polymyalgia rheumatica A syndrome in the elderly characterized by proximal joint and muscle pain, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a self-limiting course. Pain is usually accompanied by evidence of an inflammatory reaction. Women are affected twice as commonly as men and caucasians more frequently than other groups. The condition is frequently associated with giant cell arteritis and some theories pose the possibility that the two diseases arise from a single etiology or even that they are the same entity. Giant Cell Arteritis
    • Polymyositis Polymyositis Polymyositis (PM) is an autoimmune inflammatory myopathy caused by T cell-mediated muscle injury. The etiology of PM is unclear, but there are several genetic and environmental associations. Polymyositis is most common in middle-aged women and rarely affects children. Polymyositis
    • SLE SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Others: 
    • Antenatal lung maturation
    • Cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Multiple sclerosis Sclerosis A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve. Wilms Tumor
    • Nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by severe proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and peripheral edema. In contrast, the nephritic syndromes present with hematuria, variable loss of renal function, and hypertension, although there is sometimes overlap of > 1 glomerular disease in the same individual. Nephrotic Syndrome
    • Organ transplantation Organ Transplantation Transplantation is a procedure that involves the removal of an organ or living tissue and placing it into a different part of the body or into a different person. Organ transplantations have become the therapeutic option of choice for many individuals with end-stage organ failure. Organ Transplantation

Adverse effects

  • Cardiovascular:
    • Cardiac arrhythmias
    • Cardiac failure Cardiac failure Congestive heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to supply the body with normal cardiac output to meet metabolic needs. Echocardiography can confirm the diagnosis and give information about the ejection fraction. Congestive Heart Failure (predisposition of cardiac diseases) 
    • Edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Dermatologic:
    • Skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation
    • Skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    • Hypopigmentation Hypopigmentation A condition caused by a deficiency or a loss of melanin pigmentation in the epidermis, also known as hypomelanosis. Hypopigmentation can be localized or generalized, and may result from genetic defects, trauma, inflammation, or infections. Malassezia Fungi or hyperpigmentation Hyperpigmentation Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. Hyperpigmentation can be localized or generalized. The condition may arise from exposure to light, chemicals or other substances, or from a primary metabolic imbalance. Malassezia Fungi
  • Endocrine and metabolic:
    • Hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia Abnormally high blood glucose level. Diabetes Mellitus
    • Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
    • Adrenal suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms
    • Cushingoid features
    • Growth suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms in children
  • GI: peptic ulcer Peptic ulcer Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) refers to the full-thickness ulcerations of duodenal or gastric mucosa. The ulcerations form when exposure to acid and digestive enzymes overcomes mucosal defense mechanisms. The most common etiologies include Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Genitourinary: menstrual irregularities
  • Musculoskeletal:
    • Aseptic necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage of the humeral head Humeral head The upper rounded extremity of the humerus fitting into the glenoid cavity of the scapula. Arm: Anatomy/femoral head
    • Susceptibility to fractures
    • Myopathy Myopathy Dermatomyositis
    • Osteoporosis Osteoporosis Osteoporosis refers to a decrease in bone mass and density leading to an increased number of fractures. There are 2 forms of osteoporosis: primary, which is commonly postmenopausal or senile; and secondary, which is a manifestation of immobilization, underlying medical disorders, or long-term use of certain medications. Osteoporosis
  • Neurologic and psychiatric:
    • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
    • Idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis intracranial hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Paresthesia
    • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
    • Vertigo Vertigo Vertigo is defined as the perceived sensation of rotational motion while remaining still. A very common complaint in primary care and the ER, vertigo is more frequently experienced by women and its prevalence increases with age. Vertigo is classified into peripheral or central based on its etiology. Vertigo
    • Psychosis
    • Agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus 
    • Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in the initiation, maintenance, and consolidation of sleep, leading to impairment of function. Patients may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, trouble going back to sleep, early awakenings, and feeling tired upon waking. Insomnia
  • Ophthalmic:
    • Glaucoma Glaucoma Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy characterized by typical visual field defects and optic nerve atrophy seen as optic disc cupping on examination. The acute form of glaucoma is a medical emergency. Glaucoma is often, but not always, caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Glaucoma
    • Cataracts
  • Others: impaired wound healing Wound healing Wound healing is a physiological process involving tissue repair in response to injury. It involves a complex interaction of various cell types, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators. Wound healing stages include hemostasis, inflammation, granulation, and remodeling. Wound Healing

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Hypersensitivity to the drug or its components
  • Recent administration of live or live attenuated vaccines
  • Uncontrolled active infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (e.g., bacterial, viral, or fungal)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
  • Uncontrolled psychotic states
  • Uncontrolled hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Peptic ulcer Peptic ulcer Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) refers to the full-thickness ulcerations of duodenal or gastric mucosa. The ulcerations form when exposure to acid and digestive enzymes overcomes mucosal defense mechanisms. The most common etiologies include Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Peptic Ulcer Disease

Drug interactions

  • Live and inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination: Corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis enhance the adverse effects of vaccines. 
  • Use with NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches: ↑ risk of GI ulcers and bleeding
  • Warfarin Warfarin An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide. Anticoagulants: corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis ↑ anticoagulant effects
  • Antihyperglycemic agents: corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis may ↓ effects

mTOR inhibitors

Definition

  • Medications that reduce the activity of mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome serine Serine A non-essential amino acid occurring in natural form as the l-isomer. It is synthesized from glycine or threonine. It is involved in the biosynthesis of purines; pyrimidines; and other amino acids. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids/threonine kinase involved in cell growth, metabolism, and immune cell proliferation
  • The mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome signaling pathway is abnormally activated in some tumors.
    • By inhibiting mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome serine Serine A non-essential amino acid occurring in natural form as the l-isomer. It is synthesized from glycine or threonine. It is involved in the biosynthesis of purines; pyrimidines; and other amino acids. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids/threonine kinase activity, there is a halt in the progression of the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle, decreasing proliferation.
    • Agents also have antiangiogenic Antiangiogenic Macular Degeneration effects.
  • Class of drugs also called proliferation signal inhibitors

Drugs

  • Everolimus
  • Temsirolimus
  • Sirolimus

Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Mechanism of action:

  • Form 2 complexes:
    • mTORC1: important in lipid, glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance, protein, and nucleotide metabolism
    • mTORC2: involved in insulin Insulin Insulin is a peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin plays a role in metabolic functions such as glucose uptake, glycolysis, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis. Exogenous insulin may be needed for individuals with diabetes mellitus, in whom there is a deficiency in endogenous insulin or increased insulin resistance. Insulin signaling pathway, regulating lipid and glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance metabolism
  • Change the activity of mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, leading to:
    • Disruption of normal myeloid and lymphoid development
    • Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest in the G1– S phase S Phase Phase of the cell cycle following g1 and preceding g2 when the entire DNA content of the nucleus is replicated. It is achieved by bidirectional replication at multiple sites along each chromosome. Cell Cycle, preventing cell-cycle progression and cell proliferation 
    • Antiproliferative and antiangiogenic Antiangiogenic Macular Degeneration effects

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Everolimus:
    • Oral, with rapid absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption
    • 74% protein-binding
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: approximately 30 hours
    • Hepatic metabolism
    • Excretion: mostly in feces
  • Temsirolimus:
    • IV
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: approximately 17 hours
    • Hepatic metabolism
    • Excretion: mostly in feces
  • Sirolimus: 
    • Oral, with rapid absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: approximately 55 hours
    • Intestinal and hepatic metabolism
    • Excretion: feces

Indications

Related agents (rapamycin analogs (rapalogs)) and indications:

  • Everolimus:
    • Renal cell carcinoma Renal cell carcinoma Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a tumor that arises from the lining of the renal tubular system within the renal cortex. Renal cell carcinoma is responsible for 80%-85% of all primary renal neoplasms. Most RCCs arise sporadically, but smoking, hypertension, and obesity are linked to its development. Renal Cell Carcinoma
    • Prevention of transplant rejection
    • Tuberous sclerosis Sclerosis A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve. Wilms Tumor complex–associated partial-onset seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures, renal angiomyolipoma Angiomyolipoma A benign tumor containing vascular, adipose, and muscle elements. It occurs most often in the kidney with smooth muscle elements (angiolipoleiomyoma) in association with tuberous sclerosis. Tuberous Sclerosis, and subependymal giant-cell astrocytoma Astrocytoma Astrocytomas are neuroepithelial tumors that arise from astrocytes, which are star-shaped glial cells (supporting tissues of the CNS). Astrocytomas are a type of glioma. There are 4 grades of astrocytomas. Astrocytoma 
    • Neuroendocrine tumors Neuroendocrine tumors Tumors whose cells possess secretory granules and originate from the neuroectoderm, i.e., the cells of the ectoblast or epiblast that program the neuroendocrine system. Common properties across most neuroendocrine tumors include ectopic hormone production (often via apud cells), the presence of tumor-associated antigens, and isozyme composition. Gastrinoma
    • Breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
  • Temsirolimus: renal cell carcinoma Renal cell carcinoma Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a tumor that arises from the lining of the renal tubular system within the renal cortex. Renal cell carcinoma is responsible for 80%-85% of all primary renal neoplasms. Most RCCs arise sporadically, but smoking, hypertension, and obesity are linked to its development. Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Sirolimus 
    • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Lymphangioleiomyomatosis A disease characterized by the progressive invasion of smooth muscle cells into the lymphatic vessels, and the blood vessels. The majority of the cases occur in the lungs of women of childbearing age, eventually blocking the flow of air, blood, and lymph. The common symptom is shortness of breath (dyspnea). Interstitial Lung Diseases 
    • Prevention of transplant rejection

Adverse effects

  • Serious infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
  • Angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema
  • ↑ Lipid
  • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Hypersensitivity to the drug or its components 
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism > 1.5 times of the upper limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation of normal value

Drug interactions

Other Cytotoxic and Immunomodulating Agents

Drugs

  • Some medications have both immunosuppressive and antineoplastic activities and are thus used for malignancies as well.
  • Some of these are cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 agents, interfering with the nucleic acid and protein synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) of cells, and others interrupt normal immune response.
  • As medications have varying mechanisms and belong to different classes, pharmacology of these agents will be discussed individually.
    • Azathioprine 
    • Cyclophosphamide 
    • Hydroxychloroquine 
    • Leflunomide Leflunomide An isoxazole derivative that inhibits dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, the fourth enzyme in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. It is used an immunosuppressive agent in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) 
    • Methotrexate Methotrexate An antineoplastic antimetabolite with immunosuppressant properties. It is an inhibitor of tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and prevents the formation of tetrahydrofolate, necessary for synthesis of thymidylate, an essential component of DNA. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy 
    • Mycophenolate 
    • Thalidomide

Azathioprine

  • Prodrug Prodrug Nitroimidazoles of mercaptopurine
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Cleaved to 6-mercaptopurine 6-Mercaptopurine An antimetabolite antineoplastic agent with immunosuppressant properties. It interferes with nucleic acid synthesis by inhibiting purine metabolism and is used, usually in combination with other drugs, in the treatment of or in remission maintenance programs for leukemia. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy → metabolized by hypoxanthine– guanine Guanine Nucleic Acids phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) into a metabolite thioinosine monophosphate (TIMP)
    • TIMP outcompetes purine derivatives and inhibits enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes of purine synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
    • Triphosphate forms of TIMP are incorporated into the DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure → ↓ cell proliferation and lymphocyte function
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Oral, well-absorbed
    • Hepatic metabolism
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: approximately 2 hours
    • Excretion: renal
  • Indications:
    • Prevention of transplant rejection (e.g., kidney transplant)
    • RA
    • Also used in off-label indications such as Crohn’s disease, psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Adverse effects:
    • Alopecia Alopecia Alopecia is the loss of hair in areas anywhere on the body where hair normally grows. Alopecia may be defined as scarring or non-scarring, localized or diffuse, congenital or acquired, reversible or permanent, or confined to the scalp or universal; however, alopecia is usually classified using the 1st 3 factors. Alopecia
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
    • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
    • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (especially varicella and herpes simplex Herpes Simplex A group of acute infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 that is characterized by the development of one or more small fluid-filled vesicles with a raised erythematous base on the skin or mucous membrane. It occurs as a primary infection or recurs due to a reactivation of a latent infection. Congenital TORCH Infections viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology)
    • ↑ Risk of malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax (e.g., posttransplantation lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum)
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
  • Drug interactions:
    • Allopurinol Allopurinol A xanthine oxidase inhibitor that decreases uric acid production. It also acts as an antimetabolite on some simpler organisms. Gout Drugs: blocks xanthine oxidase Xanthine oxidase An iron-molybdenum flavoprotein containing flavin-adenine dinucleotide that oxidizes hypoxanthine, some other purines and pterins, and aldehydes. Deficiency of the enzyme, an autosomal recessive trait, causes xanthinuria. Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism (enzyme important in the catabolism of azathioprine metabolites) → ↑ active metabolites of azathioprine
    • ACE inhibitors ACE inhibitors Truncus Arteriosus and other myelosuppressive agents: ↑ myelosuppressive effects of azathioprine

Cyclophosphamide

  • Belongs to the group of nitrogen Nitrogen An element with the atomic symbol n, atomic number 7, and atomic weight [14. 00643; 14. 00728]. Nitrogen exists as a diatomic gas and makes up about 78% of the earth’s atmosphere by volume. It is a constituent of proteins and nucleic acids and found in all living cells. Urea Cycle mustards, alkylating agents that work primarily by binding alkyl groups to various parts of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure
  • Antineoplastic and immunosuppressive properties
  • Indications (non-oncologic): nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by severe proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and peripheral edema. In contrast, the nephritic syndromes present with hematuria, variable loss of renal function, and hypertension, although there is sometimes overlap of > 1 glomerular disease in the same individual. Nephrotic Syndrome

Hydroxychloroquine

  • Antimalarial agent and a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug ( DMARD DMARD Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are antiinflammatory medications used to manage rheumatoid arthritis. The medications slow, but do not cure, the progression of the disease. The medications are classified as either synthetic or biologic agents and each has unique mechanisms of action and side effects. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs))
  • An immunomodulatory agent Immunomodulatory agent Cancer Immunotherapy:
    • Inhibits nucleic acid sensors, including toll-like receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors 9 and cyclic GMP–AMP synthase
    • ↑ Lysosomal pH pH The quantitative measurement of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Acid-Base Balance, disrupting processing of antigens (endolysosomal pathway)
    • Inhibits proinflammatory cytokine production, such as tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) α (TNF-α), IFN-γ, and IL-6 
  • Indications (nonmalarial):
    • SLE SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
    • RA

Leflunomide Leflunomide An isoxazole derivative that inhibits dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, the fourth enzyme in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. It is used an immunosuppressive agent in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

  • Pyrimidine synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) inhibitor
  • Antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory
  • Mechanism of action: inhibits dihydroorotate Dihydroorotate Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism dehydrogenase (mitochondrial enzyme), which is important in pyrimidine synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) → ↓ lymphocyte activation
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Oral
    • Active metabolite with long half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
    • Hepatic metabolism
    • Excretion: feces and urine
  • Indications: RA
  • Adverse effects:
    • Dermatologic reactions (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome)
    • Hematologic toxicities: pancytopenia Pancytopenia Deficiency of all three cell elements of the blood, erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets. Aplastic Anemia, agranulocytosis Agranulocytosis A decrease in the number of granulocytes; (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils). Lincosamides, and thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia
    • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
    • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
    • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
  • Drug interactions: 
    • Activated charcoal Charcoal An amorphous form of carbon prepared from the incomplete combustion of animal or vegetable matter, e.g., wood. The activated form of charcoal is used in the treatment of poisoning. Antidotes of Common Poisonings and cholestyramine Cholestyramine A strongly basic anion exchange resin whose main constituent is polystyrene trimethylbenzylammonium cl(-) anion. Lipid Control Drugs leflunomide Leflunomide An isoxazole derivative that inhibits dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, the fourth enzyme in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. It is used an immunosuppressive agent in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
    • Immunosuppressive drugs Immunosuppressive drugs Agents that suppress immune function by one of several mechanisms of action. Classical cytotoxic immunosuppressants act by inhibiting DNA synthesis. Others may act through activation of T-cells or by inhibiting the activation of helper cells. While immunosuppression has been brought about in the past primarily to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, new applications involving mediation of the effects of interleukins and other cytokines are emerging. Organ Transplantation enhance immunosuppressive effects of leflunomide Leflunomide An isoxazole derivative that inhibits dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, the fourth enzyme in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. It is used an immunosuppressive agent in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).
    • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines

Methotrexate Methotrexate An antineoplastic antimetabolite with immunosuppressant properties. It is an inhibitor of tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and prevents the formation of tetrahydrofolate, necessary for synthesis of thymidylate, an essential component of DNA. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy

  • Folic acid analog, belonging to antimetabolite agents, which block folic acid activity to inhibit cell division Cell Division A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle
  •  Mechanism of action:
    • Binds to dihydrofolate reductase Dihydrofolate Reductase Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim (DHFR) → inhibits the formation of tetrahydrofolate Tetrahydrofolate Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim (FH4) → ↓ DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
    • Folylpolyglutamate synthetase (FPGS) adds glutamyl residues to the molecule, making the molecule unable to cross cell membranes.
    • This mechanism of ion trapping permits prolonged retention of MTX MTX An antineoplastic antimetabolite with immunosuppressant properties. It is an inhibitor of tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and prevents the formation of tetrahydrofolate, necessary for synthesis of thymidylate, an essential component of DNA. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy in the cell.
  • Indications (nonneoplastic): 
    • RA
    • Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
    • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is a heterogeneous group of inflammatory diseases characterized by inflammation of 1 or more joints and is the most common pediatric rheumatic disease. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Mycophenolate

  • Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) → hydrolyzed to mycophenolic acid ( MPA MPA A primary systemic vasculitis of small- and some medium-sized vessels. It is characterized by a tropism for kidneys and lungs, positive association with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), and a paucity of immunoglobulin deposits in vessel walls. Vasculitides), the active immunosuppressive agent
  • Mechanism of action:
    • MPA MPA A primary systemic vasculitis of small- and some medium-sized vessels. It is characterized by a tropism for kidneys and lungs, positive association with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), and a paucity of immunoglobulin deposits in vessel walls. Vasculitides reversibly inhibits inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase Inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase An enzyme that catalyzes the dehydrogenation of inosine 5′-phosphate to xanthosine 5′-phosphate in the presence of nad. Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism (IMPDH), an enzyme in the de novo pathway of guanine Guanine Nucleic Acids nucleotide synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
    • T and B lymphocytes B lymphocytes Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions depend on this pathway for proliferation.
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Oral, rapid absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: approximately 16 hours
    • Metabolism: hepatic, GI tract
    • Excretion: urine
  • Indications: to prevent organ transplant rejection
  • Adverse effects:
    • Infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • CNS depression
    • Lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum and skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
    • Neutropenia Neutropenia Neutrophils are an important component of the immune system and play a significant role in the eradication of infections. Low numbers of circulating neutrophils, referred to as neutropenia, predispose the body to recurrent infections or sepsis, though patients can also be asymptomatic. Neutropenia
    • Red-cell aplasia Aplasia Cranial Nerve Palsies
    • Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
  • Drug interactions:
    • Cholestyramine Cholestyramine A strongly basic anion exchange resin whose main constituent is polystyrene trimethylbenzylammonium cl(-) anion. Lipid Control Drugs resin: ↓ serum concentration of mycophenolate 
    • Tacrolimus: ↑ activation of polyomaviruses such as BK virus BK Virus BK virus (BKV) is a small, nonenveloped, single-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Polyomaviridae family, which are ubiquitous in the human population. While the primary infection is usually asymptomatic, the infection leads to lifelong latency in the kidneys and lymphoid organs. JC Virus and BK Virus (can cause interstitial nephritis)
    • Vaccines: ↓ therapeutic effects of inactivated vaccines Inactivated vaccines Vaccines in which the infectious microbial nucleic acid components have been destroyed by chemical or physical treatment (e.g., formalin, beta-propiolactone, gamma radiation) without affecting the antigenicity or immunogenicity of the viral coat or bacterial outer membrane proteins. Vaccination and ↑ adverse effects of live vaccines

Thalidomide

  • Immunomodulator
  • Mechanism of action:
    • ↓ TNF-α, ↑ natural killer cells Natural killer cells A specialized subset of T-lymphocytes that exhibit features of innate immunity similar to that of natural killer cells. They are reactive to glycolipids presented in the context of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like molecule, CD1D antigen. Lymphocytes: Histology, and IL-2 
    • Alters expression of cellular adhesion Adhesion The process whereby platelets adhere to something other than platelets, e.g., collagen; basement membrane; microfibrils; or other ‘foreign’ surfaces. Coagulation Studies molecules
    • Antiangiogenic Antiangiogenic Macular Degeneration effects 
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Oral
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 7 hours
    • Minimal metabolism
    • Excretion: urine
  • Indications:
    • Multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma
    • Erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum is an immune-mediated panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous fat) caused by a type IV (delayed-type) hypersensitivity reaction. It commonly manifests in young women as tender, erythematous nodules on the shins. Erythema Nodosum leprosum
  • Adverse effects:
    • Bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
    • Dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome), drowsiness
    • Dermatologic reactions
    • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Orthostatic hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
    • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
    • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
    • Teratogenicity
    • Thromboembolic events
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
  • Drug interactions:
    • Hormonal contraceptives Hormonal contraceptives Hormonal contraceptives (HCs) contain synthetic analogs of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone, which may be used either in combination or in progestin-only formulations for contraception. Hormonal Contraceptives: ↑ thrombogenic effects of thalidomide
    • CNS depressants: ↑ CNS effects of thalidomide

Comparison of Immunosuppressive Agents

Table: General overview of the different immunosuppressive agents
Mechanism Common indications
Biologic agents Inhibition of B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions/ T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions, interleukin, or TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)
  • RA and other rheumatologic conditions
  • IBD
Calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo inhibitors Blocks calcineurin Calcineurin A calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin a catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including histones; myosin light chain; and the regulatory subunits of camp-dependent protein kinases. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes. Vitiligo, a signaling phosphatase essential in T-cell activation
  • Transplant rejection
  • RA
  • Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
Corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis Suppress cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle and activity of inflammatory cells and other components Multisystem indications (e.g., respiratory, hematologic, musculoskeletal conditions)
mTOR mTOR Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome inhibitors Inhibition of proliferation signal transduction Transduction The transfer of bacterial DNA by phages from an infected bacterium to another bacterium. This also refers to the transfer of genes into eukaryotic cells by viruses. This naturally occurring process is routinely employed as a gene transfer technique. Bacteriology
  • Malignancies (e.g., breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer)
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Lymphangioleiomyomatosis A disease characterized by the progressive invasion of smooth muscle cells into the lymphatic vessels, and the blood vessels. The majority of the cases occur in the lungs of women of childbearing age, eventually blocking the flow of air, blood, and lymph. The common symptom is shortness of breath (dyspnea). Interstitial Lung Diseases
  • Transplant rejection
Immunomodulators Thalidomide: antiangiogenesis, ↓ immune components (e.g., IL-2)
  • Multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma
  • Erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum is an immune-mediated panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous fat) caused by a type IV (delayed-type) hypersensitivity reaction. It commonly manifests in young women as tender, erythematous nodules on the shins. Erythema Nodosum leprosum
Hydroxychloroquine: disrupts endolysosomal pathway, inhibits cytokine production and nucleic acid sensors
  • SLE SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • RA
Cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 agents Interfere with the nucleic acid and protein synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) of cells
  • Malignancies
  • RA
  • Transplant rejection
IBD: inflammatory bowel disease

References

  1. Beaugerie, L. (2013) Use of immunosuppressants and biologicals in patients with previous cancer. Dig Dis 31:254–259. https://doi.org/10.1159/000353382
  2. Burmester, G. (2021) Overview of biologic agents and kinase inhibitors in the rheumatic diseases. UpToDate. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-biologic-agents-and-kinase-inhibitors-in-the-rheumatic-diseases
  3. Hedstrom, L. (2009). IMP dehydrogenase: structure, mechanism, and inhibition. Chemical Reviews 109:2903–2928. https://doi.org/10.1021/cr900021w
  4. Hodgens, A., Sharman, T. (2021). Corticosteroids. StatPearls. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554612/
  5. Lake, D. F., & Briggs, A. D. (2021). Immunopharmacology. Chapter 55 of Katzung, B. G., Vanderah, T. W. (Eds.),  Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 15th ed. McGraw=Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2988&sectionid=250603682
  6. Pande, A., Culver, D. A. (2020) Knowing when to use steroids, immunosuppressants or biologics for the treatment of sarcoidosis. Exp Rev Respir Med 14:285–298. https://doi.org/10.1080/17476348.2020.1707672
  7. Safarini, O. A., Patel, J. (2021). Calcineurin inhibitors. StatPearls. Retrieved October 19, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558995/
  8. Saxton, R. A., Sabatini, D. M. (2017). mTOR signaling in growth, metabolism, and disease. Cell 168:960–976. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2017.02.004
  9. Zheng, Y., Jiang, Y. (2015). mTOR inhibitors at a glance. Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology 7:15–20.

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Create your free account or log in to continue reading!

Sign up now and get free access to Lecturio with concept pages, medical videos, and questions for your medical education.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

Details