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L-Arginine Signalling Potential in the Brain: The Peripheral Gets Central

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L-Arginine is a basic amino acid that has versatile metabolic roles, being involved in the generation of a wide range of biologically active intermediates such as nitric oxide (NO), polyamines, creatine and L-amino acids [1]. Because the levels of L-arginine reflect a metabolic crossroads, the mechanisms of its synthesis and degradation in peripheral tissues are very well described. However, there is an increasing amount of data also implicating this amino acid as a mediator of central nervous system activities and those are not yet fully understood. Here we shall summarize the tissuespecific pathways controlling L-arginine intracellular and blood levels and also the emerging evidence pointing to a role of this metabolite in the central regulation of diverse physiological processes, as blood pressure control and inflammatory response. As a conclusion we shall discuss the advantages of targeting L-arginine metabolism over other NO donors, as a general strategy to correct NO deficiency related diseases and discuss a few new patents recently deposited which take into account the rational perspective outlined in the present review.

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Keywords: ADMA; ASL; ASS; CNS; L-Arginine; Lcitrulline; NO; ROS; arginase; polyamines; proline-rich peptides; urea cycle; vasodilation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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  • Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery publishes review articles on recent patents in the field of CNS drug discovery e.g. novel bioactive compounds, analogs & targets. A selection of important and recent patents on CNS drug discovery is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in CNS drug design and discovery.
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