L-arginine ameliorates experimental autoimmune myocarditis by maintaining extracellular matrix and reducing cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes.Int J Exp Pathol. 2008 Oct; 89(5):382-8.IJ
It was previously shown that administration of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) aggravated murine viral myocarditis by increasing myocardial virus titres. Experimental autoimmune myocarditis in mice and rats mimics human fulminant myocarditis. The effects of L-arginine, a precursor of nitric oxide, upon heart failure in experimental autoimmune myocarditis were evaluated. Dietary L-arginine (L-arginine group) and L-arginine plus N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-arginine + l-NAME group) were administered to C57BL/6 mice immunized with porcine cardiac myosin over 3 weeks. An untreated myocarditis group was prepared. Cardiac damage was less in the L-arginine group compared with the other two groups, as was incidence of heart failure. In addition, extracellular matrix change was less prominent in the L-arginine group. Plasma concentrations of nitric oxide were elevated in the L-arginine group. Cytotoxic activities of lymphocytes were lower in L-arginine group than in other two groups. L-arginine treatment may be effective in preventing the development of heart failure in experimental myocarditis by maintaining extracellular matrix and reducing the cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes.