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Journal of Medical Sciences
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 276 - 282

Influence of L-arginine on the Heart Histology and Function Markers of Metabolic Syndrome in Female Wistar Albino Rats

Anthony C.C. Egbuonu, Ifeoma I. Ijeh, Lawrence U.S. Ezeanyika and Onyechi O. Obidoa    

Abstract: High blood pressure (a condition associated with vascular constriction) is a major feature of metabolic syndrome (MES). MES, a constellation of metabolic disorders, is prevalently higher in females and was associated with a reduced concentration of a vasodilator molecule, Nitric Oxide (NO). L-arginine (ARG), a precursor of NO may improve MES, warranting this study. Two groups (n = 8) of female Wistar albino rats were (per orally for twenty eight days) exposed to a single dose of 60 mg kg-1 b.wt. of ARG and 3 mL kg-1 b.wt. of distilled water, DW, respectively as treated and control groups. Significant differences in means were separated by student’s t-test (p<0.05; p<0.01) and results expressed as Mean±Standard deviation. ARG exposure caused a significant reduction (p<0.01) in sodium ion (Na+) concentration (136.42±1.66 mmol L-1; 6.54%), but a non-significant decrease (p>0.05) in potassium ion (K+) concentration (4.54±0.66 mmol L-1; 14.01%) in the rats’ serum, suggesting improved/reduced blood pressure. ARG treatment in the rats had a significant increase (p<0.01) in Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) activity (8.30±0.23 IU L-1; 196.43%) in the rats’ serum, indicating adverse influence on high metabolic organs, including the brain. Sodium ion had a significant negative correlation (r = 0.01) with potassium ion, whereas the heart histomorphology revealed degenerations in the ARG-fed rats, apparently confirming the observations and suggestions thereto. Thus, ARG may improve blood pressure in the rats, perhaps at the expense of compromised heart function and histology of the rats. These may be pointing to a new arginine phenomenon, hence warrant follow up.

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