The amino acid L-arginine is the substrate for endothelial nitric oxide synthesis. The endothelium is capable of producing asymmetric dimethylargine (ADMA) (L-arginine methylated). ADMA is able to compete with L-arginine in nitric oxide (NO) production and inhibits oxide nitric synthase activity. Elevated blood levels of ADMA can block the synthesis of NO, and induce endothelial dysfunction, which may lead to the initiation and progression of atherosclerosic vascular disease. Prospective clinical studies in different patients populations suggest that ADMA is a new marker in cardiovascular disease and is to able to predict new cardiovascular events. Recently, intraindividual variations of ADMA in healthy subjects have been described. This fact induces to continue studying the diagnosis and prognosis value of this potential and novel marker of cardiovascular risk. © 2008 Elsevier España S.L. All rights reserved.
- Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA)
- Cardiovascular risk factor
- Nitric oxide