Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Clin Pract Nephrol. 2006 Apr;2(4):209-20.

Arginine, arginine analogs and nitric oxide production in chronic kidney disease.

Author information

University of Florida, 1600 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32667, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) production is reduced in renal disease, partially due to decreased endothelial NO production. Evidence indicates that NO deficiency contributes to cardiovascular events and progression of kidney damage. Two possible causes of NO deficiency are substrate (L-arginine) limitation and increased levels of circulating endogenous inhibitors of NO synthase (particularly asymmetric dimethylarginine [ADMA]). Decreased L-arginine availability in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is due to perturbed renal biosynthesis of this amino acid. In addition, inhibition of transport of L-arginine into endothelial cells and shunting of L-arginine into other metabolic pathways (e.g. those involving arginase) might also decrease availability. Elevated plasma and tissue levels of ADMA in CKD are functions of both reduced renal excretion and reduced catabolism by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH). The latter might be associated with loss-of-function polymorphisms of a DDAH gene, functional inhibition of the enzyme by oxidative stress in CKD and end-stage renal disease, or both. These findings provide the rationale for novel therapies, including supplementation of dietary L-arginine or its precursor L-citrulline, inhibition of non-NO-producing pathways of L-arginine utilization, or both. Because an increase in ADMA has emerged as a major independent risk factor in end-stage renal disease (and probably also in CKD), lowering ADMA concentration is a major therapeutic goal; interventions that enhance the activity of the ADMA-hydrolyzing enzyme DDAH are under investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center