Role of cellular L-arginine uptake and nitric oxide production on renal blood flow and arterial pressure regulation

Niwanthi W. Rajapakse, David L. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: L-Arginine (L-Arg) is the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) formation. Reduced NO bioavailability, particularly within the renal circulation, has been identified as a key factor in the pathogenesis of hypertension. This review focuses on the pathogenic role of abnormal L-Arg transport, particularly within the kidney, in hypertension. Recent Findings: Most recent studies have attempted to restore NO bioavailability in cardiovascular diseases with the use of antioxidants to reduce NO inactivation, but this approach has failed to provide beneficial effects in the clinical setting. We argue that this may be due to reduced NO formation in hypertension, which has largely been overlooked as a means of restoring NO bioavailability in cardiovascular diseases. Recent data indicate that renal L-Arg transport plays an important role in regulating both renal perfusion and function and the long-term set point of arterial pressure in health. Perturbations in the renal L-Arg transport system can give rise to abnormal renal perfusion and function, initiating hypertension and related renal damage. Summary: Accordingly, we propose that L-Arg transporters are a new treatment target in hypertension and in disease states where renal NO bioavailability is disturbed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • L-Arg transport
  • hypertension
  • kidney
  • nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


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