Dietary supplementation with L-arginine limits cell proliferation in the remnant glomerulus
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One effect of L-arginine is to increase nitric oxide (NO) production by endothelial cells. NO directly reduces endothelin-1 production by endothelial cells and also inhibits platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) induced cell proliferation. Since subtotal renal ablation is associated with an early phase of cell proliferation in the glomerulus that precedes injury, we examined the effect of dietary supplementation with L-arginine on glomerular cell proliferation and expression of the cytokine endothelin-1 (ET-1). A first group of renal-ablated rats was untreated. A second group of renal-ablated rats received L-arginine (1%) in the drinking water. Two weeks after subtotal ablation renal cortical tissue was snap frozen for immunohistochemical analysis for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression and ET-1. Protein and total RNA was extracted from sieved glomeruli. mRNA levels were quantitated by co-amplification RT-PCR utilizing specific 5' and 3' primers for rat ET-1 and beta-actin. L-arginine reduced the number of PCNA positive nuclei in remnant glomeruli, and Western blot Analysis of glomerular proteins also showed that L-arginine reduced PCNA expression. Glomerular ET-1 mRNA levels and protein immunostaining declined in the rats receiving L-arginine. We conclude that dietary supplementation with L-arginine reduces early cell proliferation in the remnant glomerulus, an effect that may be mediated, in part, by a decrease in ET-1 production.
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