Clopidogrel reduces post-transplant obliterative bronchiolitis

Raimund H.M. Preidl, Sebastian Eckl, Martina Ramsperger-Gleixner, Nina Koch, Bernd M. Spriewald, Michael Weyand, Stephan M. Ensminger*

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)


Survival after lung transplantation is mainly limited by the development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). The aim of this study was to investigate if platelet inhibition by clopidogrel has an influence on the formation of obliterative bronchiolitis, the histopathological correlate to bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, present in the majority of patients suffering from CLAD. C57Bl/6(H2b) donor tracheas were orthotopically transplanted into CBA.J(H2k). Mice received different doses of clopidogrel alone or in combination with tacrolimus or everolimus. Grafts were analyzed by histology and immunofluorescence method on postoperative days 15, 30 or 60. Cytokines were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction on postoperative day 21 and alloantibodies by FACS. Mice treated with 20 mg/kg/day clopidogrel for 30 days showed reduced obliteration [34.40 ± 3.76% (20 mg/kg/day clopidogrel) vs. 49.92 ± 2.11% (control), n = 5, P < 0.05]. Platelet inhibition resulted in significant lower infiltration of T cells and macrophages, and we also found significantly lower expression of IL-12, IL-4, IL-6, TNF-α, TGF-β, PDGFβ, MCP1, P-/E-selectin, ICAM1 and CD40L after treatment with clopidogrel. Combination of 1 mg/kg/day clopidogrel and 0.05 mg/kg/day everolimus or 12 mg/kg/day tacrolimus revealed a synergistic effect. Humoral immunity as manifested by donor-specific alloantibody secretion was also impaired after treatment with clopidogrel. Here, we can show that platelet inhibition by clopidogrel as a single treatment and in combination with tacrolimus or everolimus reduced the development of fibrosis and obliteration in tracheal allografts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransplant International
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1038-1048
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 10.2013


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