Tacrolimus (also FK-506 or fujimycin is an immunosuppressive drug used mainly after allogeneic organ transplant to lower the risk of organ rejection. It achieves this by inhibiting the production of interleukin-2, a molecule that promotes the development and proliferation of T cells, which are vital to the body's learned (or adaptive) immune response. Tacrolimus is also used in the treatment of other T cell-mediated diseases such as eczema (for which it is applied to the skin in a medicated ointment), severe refractory uveitis after bone marrow transplants, exacerbations of minimal change disease, Kimura's disease and the skin condition vitiligo.
Chemically it is a 23-membered macrolide lactone that was first discovered in 1987 from the fermentation broth of a Japanese soil sample that contained the bacterium Streptomyces tsukubaensis.
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