Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

UNLABELLED: We have recently shown that exogenous nitric oxide (NO) elicits a positive chronotropic response by stimulating the hyperpolarization activated current, I(f). OBJECTIVE: To examine whether L-arginine (L-Arg) can mimic the chronotropic effect of NO by enhancing its endogenous production. METHODS: In spontaneously beating guinea pig atria we evaluated the heart rate (HR) response to increasing concentrations of L-Arg (1 mumol/l to 10 mmol/l), and compared it with that for D-Arg or L-lysine (L-Lys) (all in free base (FB) or hydrochloride (HCl) formulation). RESULTS: L-ArgFB > 100 mumol/l caused a reversible dose-dependent increase in HR (peak effect +64 +/- 7 bpm at 10 mmol/l, P < 0.05, n = 8). However, a similar HR response occurred with D-ArgFB (n = 7) or L-LysFB (n = 6). All FB formulations increased the perfusate pH (peak [pH]o = 8.61 +/- 0.03). Although alkalinization can stimulate NO release from the endothelium, this is unlikely to have contributed to HR changes in our preparation, since neither NG-methyl-L-arginine, (100-500 mumol/l, which per se reduced HR by 8 +/- 1%, P < 0.05, n = 9) nor NO scavenging (fresh 5% red blood cells, n = 9) caused a rightward shift of the concentration-response curve to L-ArgFB. Furthermore, as opposed to FB formulations, L-ArgHCl, D-ArgHCl or L-LysHCl > 1 mmol/l significantly decreased HR and [pH]o (n = 17). The chronotropic effects of L-ArFB or L-ArgHCl were reproduced by changing [pH]o with NaOH (n = 8) or HCl (n = 7), whereas the HR increase with L-ArgFB was prevented by clamping [pH]o at 7.42 +/- 0.07 (n = 10). CONCLUSIONS: In vitro, L-Arg can markedly affect HR through a pH-mediated, NO-independent mechanism. Our data show that the opposing changes in [pH]o induced by different formulations of L-Arg can importantly confound the assessment of the biological effects of this amino acid.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/s0008-6363(99)00083-8

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cardiovasc Res

Publication Date

15/08/1999

Volume

43

Pages

712 - 720

Keywords

Analysis of Variance, Animals, Arginine, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Enzyme Inhibitors, Erythrocytes, Extracellular Space, Guinea Pigs, Heart Rate, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Isomerism, Lysine, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Perfusion, Stimulation, Chemical, omega-N-Methylarginine