REVIEW Cyclosporine binds to cyclophilin. The complex then inhibits calcineurin which is normally responsible for activating transcription of interleukin 2. Cyclosporine also inhibits lymphokine production and interleukin release. In ophthalmic applications, the precise mechanism of action is not known. Cyclosporine emulsion is thought to act as a partial immunomodulator in patients whose tear production is presumed to be suppressed due to ocular inflammation associated with keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
Lichtiger S, Present DH, Kornbluth A, Gelernt I, Bauer J, Galler G, Michelassi F, Hanauer S: Cyclosporine in severe ulcerative colitis refractory to steroid therapy. N Engl J Med. 1994 Jun 30;330(26):1841-5.