Whole rear limbs were transplanted from Brown Norway or Lewis rat donors to Lewis rat recipients (n=6 per group). One group of allograft recipients was treated with leflunomide (10 mg/kg/24 hr/orally) and cyclosporine (5 mg/kg/24 hr/orally) starting 2 days before to surgery. Treatment continued for 60 days or until graft rejection. Untreated allografts were rejected over 6-8 days. After isograft transplantation, weight bearing began by day 17-25 after surgery. Sensory function was restored by 50 days after surgery. All allografts in the drug-treated group survived the 60-day period; survival in this group was significantly longer (P=0.0001) than the untreated controls. Weight bearing began by day 30, but was incomplete in two rats at 60 days. Peroneal nerve function was present in half the rats at 60 days after surgery. Leflunomide combined with cyclosporine prevented whole limb allograft rejection across a major histocompatibility barrier.
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