In vivo whole body and organ arginine metabolism during endotoxemia (sepsis) is dependent on mouse strain and gender.J Nutr. 2004 10; 134(10 Suppl):2768S-2774S; discussion 2796S-2797S.JN
Arginine metabolism involves various organs such as the kidney, the intestines, and the liver, which act together in an interorgan axis. Major pathways for arginine production are protein breakdown and de novo arginine production from citrulline; disposal of arginine is mainly used for protein synthesis or used by the enzymes arginase and nitric oxide synthase (NOS). To assess in vivo organ arginine metabolism under normal conditions and during endotoxemia we used a mouse model, and analyzed for gender and strain differences. Male and female inbred FVB and C57BL6/J mice were anesthetized and catheterized to study whole body, gut, liver, renal and muscle metabolism, using a stable isotope infusion protocol. Animals were treated with saline or lipopolysaccharide. Plasma arginine levels tended to be higher in female mice, although levels were not significantly different from male mice (P = 0.09). Although not all significantly different, whole body arginine production and arginine clearance tended to be higher in C57BL6/J mice (P < 0.1), while citrulline (P = 0.05), NO (P = 0.08), and de novo arginine (P < 0.01) production were higher in FVB mice. During endotoxemia, NO production increased in general (P < 0.05), while whole body arginine clearance increased in FVB mice, but decreased in C57BL6/J mice (P < 0.01). At the organ level, portal-drained viscera (PDV) arginine metabolism was higher in FVB than in C57BL6/J mice (P < 0.05). During endotoxemia, liver arginine metabolism decreased in general (P < 0.05), while strain differences existed for PDV, muscle, and renal arginine metabolism. In conclusion, stable isotope techniques in multicatheterized mice allow measurements of arginine metabolism on whole body and organ level. Strain and gender differences are present in arginine metabolism under physiological conditions and during endotoxemia.