Journal Article

Caspofungin is less nephrotoxic than amphotericin B <i>in vitro</i> and predominantly damages distal renal tubular cells

Binytha Wegner, Patrick Baer, Stefan Gauer, Gerhard Oremek, Ingeborg A. Hauser and Helmut Geiger

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 20, issue 10, pages 2071-2079
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Caspofungin is less nephrotoxic than amphotericin B in vitro and predominantly damages distal renal tubular cells

Show Summary Details


Background. Caspofungin (CAS) has recently been approved for treatment of invasive aspergillosis. In clinical trials, CAS-induced nephrotoxicity was markedly less pronounced compared to amphotericin B (AmB). Nevertheless, in a recent trial, nephrotoxicity in CAS-treated patients was considerably more pronounced than in preceding studies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess toxic effects of CAS on human renal proximal and distal tubular epithelial cells (PTC and DTC) in vitro, and to compare them to those of AmB.

Methods. Cells were isolated from human kidney tissue, and exposed to clinically relevant concentrations of CAS and AmB for 24 h. Total DNA content and cell viability were determined by DAPI staining and a modified MTT assay. For testing of cytotoxicity, LDH activity was measured in cell culture supernatants. To assess apoptotic effects, AnnexinV-binding assay and DAPI staining for detection of fragmented DNA were performed.

Results. DTC were more vulnerable towards the antifungal agents than PTC. In contrast to AmB, cell-damaging effects of CAS were less severe. DAPI staining revealed slight and dose-dependent antiproliferative effects of CAS at concentrations reflecting relevant plasma levels. At these concentrations, cell viability, determined by MTT assay, was not decreased in PTC and DTC. LDH release was marginally increased in a dose-dependent manner; apoptosis was not detected. Nevertheless, at CAS concentrations reflecting potential tissue concentrations, cell damaging effects were considerably more pronounced.

Conclusion. Our results suggest that CAS is less nephrotoxic than AmB in vitro. The antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of CAS predominantly affect DTC, which seem to be more susceptible to CAS-induced damage.

Keywords: amphotericin B; caspofungin; in vitro; nephrotoxicity

Journal Article.  4497 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.