Plasma asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginine in a rat model of endothelial dysfunction induced by acute hyperhomocysteinemia
Hyperhomocysteinemia induces vascular endothelial dysfunction, an early hallmark of atherogenesis. While higher levels of circulating asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and symmetric dimethyl arginine (SDMA), endogenous inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis, have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk, the role that ADMA and SDMA play in the initiation of hyperhomocysteinemia-induced endothelial dysfunction remains still controversial. In the present study, we studied the changes of circulating ADMA and SDMA in a rat model of acutely hyperhomocysteinemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. In healthy rats, endothelium-related vascular reactivity (measured as acetylcholine-induced transient decrease in mean arterial blood pressure), plasma ADMA and SDMA, total plasma homocysteine (tHcy), cysteine and glutathione were measured before and 2, 4 and 6 h after methionine loading or vehicle. mRNA expression of hepatic dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 (DDAH1), a key protein responsible for ADMA metabolism, was measured 6 h after the methionine loading or the vehicle. Expectedly, methionine load induced a sustained increase in tHcy (up to 54.9 ± 1.9 µM) and a 30 % decrease in vascular reactivity compared to the baseline values. Plasma ADMA and SDMA decreased transiently after the methionine load. Hepatic mRNA expression of DDAH1, cathepsin D, and ubiquitin were significantly lower 6 h after the methionine load than after the vehicle. The absence of an elevation of circulating ADMA and SDMA in this model suggests that endothelial dysfunction induced by acute hyperhomocysteinemia cannot be explained by an up-regulation of protein arginine methyltransferases or a down-regulation of DDAH1. In experimental endothelial dysfunction induced by acute hyperhomocysteinemia, down-regulation of the proteasome is likely to dampen the release of ADMA and SDMA in the circulation.
KeywordsADMA Endothelial dysfunction Hyperhomocysteinemia Methionine load Proteolytic degradation SDMA
Mean arterial pressure
Protein arginine methyltransferase
Reactive oxygen species
Total plasma homocysteine
We thank Maëlle Robert for her contribution to the experimentation and Dominique Hermier for the help with the collection of the tissue samples. This work was supported by the French Ministry of Research. J. Magné is supported by the Swedish Heart–Lung Foundation, the Fredrik and Ingrid Thuring Foundation, and the Lars Hiertas Minne Foundation.
Conflict of interest
None of the authors had a conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the guidelines issued by the French National Animal Care Committee at which the studies were conducted.
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