Effect of L-lysine on nitric oxide production in ovine endotoxaemia.
Allman KG., Stoddart AP., Young JD.
Excess production of nitric oxide contributes to the refractory hypotension associated with sepsis and is dependent upon precursor availability, L-arginine. Endothelial uptake of L-arginine by the y+ transporter can be inhibited by another cationic amino acid, L-lysine. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of L-lysine in an anaesthetized ovine model of endotoxaemia in which nitric oxide production is known to be limited by L-arginine availability. The haemodynamic effects of i.v. L-lysine (500 mg kg-1) were compared with those of a known inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, NG-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester, L-NAME (25 mg kg-1) and with control animals (n = 6 per group). Serum nitrates, the stable end metabolite of nitric oxide production, were also measured. L-NAME administration caused a significant increase in systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance (P < 0.0001), mean arterial pressure (P < 0.0001) and a reduction in serum nitrate concentrations (P < 0.0001). The administration of L-lysine had no effect on systemic or pulmonary vascular resistance, mean arterial pressure or serum nitrate concentrations. We conclude that the administration of L-lysine does not inhibit nitric oxide production in this model.