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Transl Res. 2012 Feb;159(2):90-8. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

The combined ratios of L-arginine and asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginine as biomarkers in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Dabi Rd., Niausung, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan.


Hypertension and hypertensive end-organ damage have been associated with decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) both can inhibit NO availability by competition with L-arginine (L-Arg). However, whether a combined analysis of these 3 parameters can serve as an ideal biomarker of hypertension remains unclear. We measured the plasma and renal levels of L-Arg, ADMA, and SDMA in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) control rats at 3 stages: 4 weeks old (prehypertensive), 12 weeks old (hypertensive), and 24 weeks old (end-organ damage). The plasma and renal L-Arg/ADMA ratio (AAR) and the ADMA/SDMA ratio (ASR) were computed for all 3 age stages. Our results revealed an ADMA level increase, and an AAR decrease in plasma and kidneys may develop early on, even before the onset of hypertension in 4-week-old SHRs. The renal ADMA level and AAR were restored in SHRs at 24 weeks of age, which might protect SHRs against kidney injury. We found that the plasma AAR is superior to the levels of L-Arg and ADMA in plasma, and it predicted blood pressure and urinary NOx levels. Renal AAR is a strong independent marker of renal dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) activity. The plasma ASR was correlated strongly to blood pressure. However, renal DDAH activity was related to the renal ASR but not the plasma ASR. In conclusion, the AAR and ASR may serve as better markers for disease activity and progression than each individual parameter. Clinical use of these ratios to elucidate the role of ADMA in hypertension awaits further validation.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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