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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Agmatine, a bioactive metabolite of arginine. Production, degradation, and functional effects in the kidney of the rat.

Until recently, conversion of arginine to agmatine by arginine decarboxylase (ADC) was considered important only in plants and bacteria. In the following, we demonstrate ADC activity in the membrane-enriched fraction of brain, liver, and kidney cortex and medulla by radiochemical assay. Diamine oxidase, an enzyme shown here to metabolize agmatine, was localized by immunohistochemistry in kidney glomeruli and other nonrenal cells. Production of labeled agmatine, citrulline, and ornithine from [3H]arginine was demonstrated and endogenous agmatine levels (10(-6)M) in plasma ultrafiltrate and kidney were measured by HPLC. Microperfusion of agmatine into renal interstitium and into the urinary space of surface glomeruli of Wistar-Frömter rats produced reversible increases in nephron filtration rate (SNGFR) and absolute proximal reabsorption (APR). Renal denervation did not alter SNGFR effects but prevented APR changes. Yohimbine (an alpha 2 antagonist) microperfusion into the urinary space produced opposite effects to that of agmatine. Microperfusion of urinary space with BU-224 (microM), a synthetic imidazoline2 (I2) agonist, duplicated agmatine effects on SNGFR but not APR whereas an I1 agonist had no effect. Agmatine effects on SNGFR and APR are not only dissociable but appear to be mediated by different mechanisms. The production and degradation of this biologically active substance derived from arginine constitutes a novel endogenous regulatory system in the kidney.[1]


  1. Agmatine, a bioactive metabolite of arginine. Production, degradation, and functional effects in the kidney of the rat. Lortie, M.J., Novotny, W.F., Peterson, O.W., Vallon, V., Malvey, K., Mendonca, M., Satriano, J., Insel, P., Thomson, S.C., Blantz, R.C. J. Clin. Invest. (1996) [Pubmed]
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