Involvement of advanced glycation end product-induced asymmetric dimethylarginine generation in endothelial dysfunction

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Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, plays a role in endothelial dysfunction, an initial step of atherosclerosis. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) also contribute to accelerated atherosclerosis. However, a pathophysiological crosstalk between ADMA and AGEs remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the relationship between ADMA and AGE level in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) due to diabetic nephropathy. We also examined whether and how AGEs increased ADMA generation by cultured endothelial cells (ECs). Plasma ADMA levels were positively associated with serum AGE level and were inversely correlated with endothelial function determined by flow-mediated vasodilatation. AGEs dose dependently increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in ECs, which was blocked by antisense DNA raised against receptor for AGEs (RAGE). Furthermore, AGEs decreased messenger RNA (mRNA) level of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH)-II, an enzyme for ADMA degradation, reduced its total enzymatic activity and resultantly increased ADMA, all of which were completely blocked by an antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine. These results suggest that the AGE-RAGE-mediated ROS generation could be involved in endothelial dysfunction in diabetic ESRD patients partly by increasing the ADMA generation via suppression of DDAH activity in ECs.

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