L-arginine supplementation in hyperdynamic endotoxemic pigs: effect on nitric oxide synthesis by the different organs

M.J. Bruins*, P.B. Soeters, W.H. Lamers, A.J. Meijer, N.E.P. Deutz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


L-arginine supplementation in hyperdynamic endotoxemic pigs: effect on nitric oxide synthesis by the different organs.

Bruins MJ, Soeters PB, Lamers WH, Meijer AJ, Deutz NE.

Department of Surgery, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVES: Under septic conditions, the protective role of nitric oxide in the organs may become compromised at a time of increased demand as a result of decreased availability of L-arginine. It remains unknown whether supplementation with L-arginine, as a substrate, can modulate organ nitric oxide production. DESIGN: Controlled study with laboratory animals. SETTING: University research laboratory. SUBJECTS: Female crossbred pigs. INTERVENTION: Pigs were challenged with Escherichia coli endotoxin (intravenously) and received intravenous fluid resuscitation for 24 hrs to reproduce a model of long-lasting hyperdynamic endotoxemia. Pigs were infused with either L-arginine or L-alanine intravenously during endotoxin and via the intragastric route after cessation of endotoxin infusion. The effects of L-arginine supplementation on nitric oxide synthesis and the relationships with arginine metabolism were determined with a stable isotope infusion protocol. Also, organ nitrite plus nitrate fluxes were measured. Implantation of multiple catheters enabled in vivo measurements across the hindquarter muscle, the portal-drained viscera, the liver, and the kidneys. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: The isotope conversion method showed that L-arginine intervention significantly increased nitric oxide production by the portal-drained viscera, liver, and kidneys, resulting in elevated whole-body nitric oxide synthesis under endotoxemic and postendotoxemic conditions. Organ nitrite plus nitrate fluxes only tended to increase because of high variance among data. CONCLUSIONS: In this endotoxemia model, supplemental use of L-arginine favored nitric oxide synthesis in various organs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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