Role of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 in metabolism of asymmetric dimethylarginine in the settings of asymmetric dimethylarginine overload and bilateral nephrectomy

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Rodionov, Roman N.
Martens-Lobenhoffer, Jens
Brilloff, Silke
Hohenstein, Bernd
Jarzebska, Natalia
Jabs, Normund
Kittel, Anja
Maas, Renke
Weiss, Norbert
Bode-Böger, Stefanie M.

Background: Asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginines (ADMA and SDMA) predict complications and mortality in cardiovascular and renal diseases. Alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 (AGXT2) can metabolize both ADMA and SDMA; however, this metabolic pathway is still poorly understood. The goal of our study was to test the hypothesis that AGXT2 is compensatory upregulated in the settings of ADMA overload and bilateral nephrectomy.

Methods: ADMA was infused for 3 days using osmotic minipumps in mice. Half of the mice underwent bilateral nephrectomy 24 h before the end of the infusion.

Results: Infusion of ADMA caused a 3- to 4-fold increase in plasma and urine ADMA levels and a 2- to 3-fold increase in plasma and urine levels of the ADMA-specific metabolite of AGXT2 α-keto-δ-(N,N-dimethylguanidino)valeric acid (DMGV). Bilateral nephrectomy led to an ∼4-fold increase of plasma SDMA levels, but did not change plasma ADMA levels. Interestingly, plasma levels of DMGV were elevated 32-fold in the mice, which underwent bilateral nephrectomy. Neither bilateral nephrectomy nor ADMA infusion caused upregulation of AGXT2 expression or activity.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that short-term elevation of systemic levels of ADMA leads to a dramatic increase of DMGV formation without upregulation of AGXT2 expression or activity, which suggests that AGXT2-mediated pathway of ADMA metabolism is not saturated under normal conditions and may play a major role in the maintenance of ADMA homeostasis in the setting of local or systemic elevation of ADMA levels.

Journal Title
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 29.11 (2014): S. 2035-2042. <>
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