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Open Access Review

Phospho-specific flow cytometry for pharmacodynamic monitoring of immunosuppressive therapy in transplantation

Carla Baan12*, Anne Bouvy1, Ramin Vafadari1 and Willem Weimar1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, Room Ee559, Rotterdam, DR 3000, The Netherlands

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Transplantation Research 2012, 1:20  doi:10.1186/2047-1440-1-20

Published: 16 November 2012

Abstract

Organ transplant recipients frequently suffer from toxicity or from lack of efficacy of immunosuppressive drugs, which can be attributed to individual variations in drug sensitivity. This problem can be resolved by applying pharmacodynamic monitoring that focuses on measuring the biological effects of drugs. Here we discuss the new technique called phospho-specific flow cytometry to monitor the activity of intracellular immune signaling pathways at the single-cell level in whole blood samples. Through this tool the efficacy of immunosuppressive medication can be assessed, novel targets can be identified, and differences in drug sensitivity between cells and patients can be clarified.

Keywords:
Immunosuppressive medication; Kidney transplantation; Regulatory T cells; Phospho-specific flow cytometry