Regulation of hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia by exogenous L-arginine in diabetic rats

Biochimie. 2001 May;83(5):453-8. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9084(00)01192-5.


The effect of L-arginine on the pattern of lipids and lipoproteins in normal and diabetic rats was studied. Three groups of 48 rats were studied during 12 days and compared with a control group (Group I, n = 5). Group I consisted of normal rats not treated with L-arginine. Group II. Normal rats treated with 10 mM L-arginine (i.p.). Group III. Diabetic rats (alloxan 120 mg/kg, i.p.) not treated (diabetic control). Group IV. Diabetic rats treated with 10 mM L-arginine (i.p.). The rats of each group were divided in subgroups of four each. Rats were anesthetized and blood was taken from aorta to determine glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, total lipids, and low (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL) and their corresponding apoproteins (Apo A-I and Apo B-100). We observed that the alloxan concentration used in this study reproduces the clinical manifestations of disease including hyperglycemia (from 132.5 +/- 7.6 to 544.3 +/- 16.9 mg/dL) in 96 h. As a consequence the levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, total lipids, and LDL and its apoprotein Apo B-100 were increased, whereas HDL and its apoprotein Apo A-I were diminished. The L-arginine injection tends to normalize the glycemia from 24 h; similarly, hyperlipidemia (triglycerides from 924.7 +/- 220.1 to 68.5 +/- 8.4 mg/dL, cholesterol from 107.7 +/- 0.6 to 64.5 +/- 4.2 mg/dL, LDL from 24.2 +/- 2.5 to 8.0 +/- 2.9 mg/dL) was also diminished. These results suggest that the beneficial effect of L-arginine administration on serum glucose values and lipid levels in diabetic rats can be mediated by polyamine formation, although the effect of L-arginine on insulin release as observed by other authors is not discarded.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / metabolism
  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Apolipoproteins B / metabolism
  • Arginine / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia*
  • Hyperlipidemias*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Arginine
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose