Methionine-Induced Homocysteinemia Impairs Endothelial Function in Hypertensives: The Role of Asymmetrical Dimethylarginine and Antioxidant Vitamins

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BackgroundNitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor asymmetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA) is synthesized by the methylation of arginine as part of the methionine/homocysteine cycle. However, the mechanisms regulating ADMA synthesis in hypertension are unclear.MethodsWe investigated the role of ADMA and antioxidants in endothelial dysfunction during methionine-induced homocysteinemia in hypertensives. Thirty-nine hypertensives and forty-nine normotensive controls underwent methionine loading (100 mg methionine/kg BW), after being randomized to receive vitamin C (2 g) and E (800 IU) or placebo. Endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) was evaluated by plethysmography (baseline and 4-h post-methionine loading (4-h PML)).ResultsHypertensives had higher homocysteine at baseline (P < 0.001) and 4-h PML (P < 0.05), whereas methionine increased homocysteine in all groups. EDD was decreased in both vitamins and placebo groups in controls (P < 0.01 for both) and vitamins- and placebo-treated hypertensives (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). In controls, ADMA was increased in both vitamin- and placebo groups (P < 0.01 for both) at 4-h PML. Hypertensives had higher ADMA at baseline (P < 0.01 vs. normotensive) and remained unchanged at 4-h PML (P = NS in placebo and vitamins treated).ConclusionsADMA is elevated in hypertensives but remains unchanged after methionine loading, suggesting that ADMA plays an important role in endothelial dysfunction in hypertensives, but it is not responsible for homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction in these patients.American Journal of Hypertension, advance online publication 14 April 2011; doi:10.1038/ajh.2011.65

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