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Immunobiology. 2007;212(9-10):795-812. Epub 2007 Nov 14.

Role of arginine metabolism in immunity and immunopathology.

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Department of Oncology and Surgical Sciences, Padova University, via Gattamelata 64, 35128, Padova, Italy.


A heterogeneous set of cells that are commonly grouped as "myeloid cells", interacts in a complex landscape of physiological and pathological situations. In this review we attempt to trace a profile of the "myeloid connection" through different normal and pathological states, by analyzing common metabolic pathways of the amino acid l-arginine. Myeloid cells exert various, often divergent, actions on the immune response through mechanisms that exploit mediators of this peculiar metabolic pathway, ranging from l-arginine itself to its downstream metabolites, like nitric oxide and polyamines. Various pathological situations, including neoplastic and autoimmune diseases, as well as injury repair and infections are discussed here, showing how l-arginine metabolism is able to play a dual role, both as an active protector and a possible threat to the organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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