Asymmetric dimethylarginine levels in thyroid diseases

Arikan E. , Karadag C. H. , Guldiken S.

JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION, vol.30, no.3, pp.186-191, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/bf03347423
  • Page Numbers: pp.186-191


Thyroid diseases may lead to endothelial dysfunction; however, the mechanism underlying the endothelial dysfunction in thyroid disease is not clear yet. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a novel inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), blocks nitric oxide (NO) synthesis from L-arginine. Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) is the structural isomer of the eNOS inhibitor ADMA. SDMA does not directly inhibit eNOS but is a competitive inhibitor of arginine transport. Increased plasma ADMA, SDMA concentrations, and low Larginine/ADMA ratio were considered as possible contributing factors for endothelial dysfunction in hyperthyroid patients. On the other hand, plasma ADMA, SDMA levels and L-arginine/ADMA ratio in the hypothyroid group were unexpectedly found to be similar to those of the control subjects. The aim of this study is to evaluate and compare the plasma ADMA levels in hyperthyroid, hypothyroid and healthy subjects. Plasma ADMA, SDMA, and L-arginine levels were measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Plasma ADMA levels were significantly higher in both patients with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism than in the control group. SDMA concentrations were significantly increased in hypothyroid patients compared to control subjects. Patients with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism had significantly higher plasma L-arginine levels compared with healthy controls. L-arginine/ADMA ratio, which shows NO bioavailability, was significantly lower in hyperthyroid patients than in both hypothyroid and control subjects. In hyperthyroidism, plasma ADMA levels were related to age, L-arginine, and SDMA levels. SDMA was associated with age and L-arginine. L-arginine/ADMA ratio was negatively associated with freeT(4) levels. There was a relationship between ADMA and L-arginine in hypothyroid patients. SDMA was significantly related to L-arginine, total cholesterol, and LDL. In conclusion, not only hyperthyroidism but also hypothyroidism was associated with alterations of ADMA and SDMA metabolism.