Promotion of corneal allograft survival with leflunomide

J. Y. Niederkorn, L. S. Lang, J. Ross, J. Mellon, S. M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose. The efficacy of the antirejection drug leflunomide was evaluated in a rat model of penetrating keratoplasty. Methods. Corneal grafts from inbred Lewis rats were transplanted orthotopically to inbred Wistar-Furth (WF) recipients. WF rats received either Leflunomide (HWA 486), the active metabolite of leflunomide (A77-1726A), or cyclosporin A, administered orally beginning 2 days before transplantation and continuing for 30 days thereafter. Graft survival was assessed clinically three times per week, and mean survival times were determined. Results. Oral administration of either leflunomide or the salt of its active metabolite resulted in a significant prolongation of graft survival time. Moreover, almost one third of the grafts survived for an additional 3 weeks, even after drug treatment was discontinued. Conclusion. The results indicate that leflunomide holds considerable promise as an antirejection drug for use in recipients of corneal transplants in whom cyclosporin A and steroids are contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3783-3785
Number of pages3
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 9 1994


  • HWA 486
  • corneal graft
  • keratoplasty
  • leflunomide
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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