ADMA and arginine derivatives in relation to non-invasive vascular function in the general population
OBJECTIVE: Nitric oxide produced from l-arginine is central to vascular homeostasis. Little is known about the relationship between arginine derivatives including asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and non-invasive vascular function measures in the general population.
APPROACH AND RESULTS: In 5000 individuals (median age 56; 25th/75th percentile: 46, 65; 49% women) taking part in the population-based Gutenberg Health Study (Mainz area, Germany), we measured the relationship between the arginine derivatives asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), N-monomethyl l-arginine (NMMA), symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) and l-arginine with flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT). Weak bivariate correlations were observed between all measured arginine derivatives and vascular function measures, except of l-arginine and FMD and SDMA and PAT ratio. In multivariate adjusted linear regression analyses we could show statistically significant relationships between arginine derivatives and vascular function measures, which were influenced by age, sex and body mass index (BMI). Thus, a negative relationship between ADMA and FMD in females who were normal (beta: -0.095, P < 0.001) to overweight (beta: -0.071, P < 0.001) and a negative association of SDMA and FMD for middle-aged females was seen. The relationship between ADMA and PAT was negative for males who were normal (beta: -0.089, P < 0.001) to overweight (beta: -0.051, P = 0.007) and positive for obese females (beta: 0.073, P = 0.021).
CONCLUSIONS: We showed small but significant correlations between ADMA and related arginine derivatives and non-invasive vascular function measures representative of different vascular regions. The associations were markedly influenced by age, sex and BMI. These findings support a complex interplay of arginine metabolism and vascular function.
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