Journal article

Kidney mass reduction leads to L‐arginine metabolism‐dependent blood pressure increase in mice

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  • Journal of the American Heart Association. - 2018, vol. 7, no. 5, p. e008025
English Background Uninephrectomy (UNX) is performed for various reasons, including kidney cancer or donation. Kidneys being the main site of L‐arginine production in the body, we tested whether UNX mediated kidney mass reduction impacts L‐arginine metabolism and thereby nitric oxide production and blood pressure regulation in mice. Methods and Results In a first series of experiments, we observed a significant increase in arterial blood pressure 8 days post‐UNX in female and not in male mice. Further experimental series were performed in female mice, and the blood pressure increase was confirmed by telemetry. L‐citrulline, that is used in the kidney to produce L‐arginine, was elevated post‐UNX as was also asymmetric dimethylarginine, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase that competes with L‐arginine and is a marker for renal failure. Interestingly, the UNX‐induced blood pressure increase was prevented by supplementation of the diet with 5% of the L‐arginine precursor, L‐citrulline. Because L‐arginine is metabolized in the kidney and other peripheral tissues by arginase‐2, we tested whether the lack of this metabolic pathway also compensates for decreased L‐arginine production in the kidney and/or for local nitric oxide synthase inhibition and consecutive blood pressure increase. Indeed, upon uninephrectomy, arginase‐2 knockout mice (Arg‐2−/−) neither displayed an increase in asymmetric dimethylarginine and L‐citrulline plasma levels nor a significant increase in blood pressure. Conclusions UNX leads to a small increase in blood pressure that is prevented by L‐ citrulline supplementation or arginase deficiency, 2 measures that appear to compensate for the impact of kidney mass reduction on L‐arginine metabolism.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Médecine
  • English
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