Background: Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is a marker of endothelial dysfunction and a new independent risk factor for adverse cerebrovascular events in small vessel disease. Conversely, L-arginine (LARG) may have a protective role.
Methods: To assess ADMA, LARG levels and LARG/ADMA ratio in 16 patients with cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) and normal controls, and to look for possible correlations with white matter changes. Plasma levels of ADMA and LARG were assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography in all subjects. The overall T(1) and T(2) lesion load was obtained from brain MRI of patients with CADASIL.
Results: ADMA plasma concentrations (1.5 +/- 2.0 microM) were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in CADASIL patients than in controls (0.35 +/- 0.075 microM). Analyzing only CADASIL subjects, an inverse borderline-significant correlation was found between LARG/ADMA (190 +/- 20) and T(2)-weighted lesion volumes (57.9 +/- 46.5; r = -0.578, p = 0.024).
Conclusion: Our results may indicate the possible coexistence of endothelial dysfunction in CADASIL patients, broadening the range of potentially pathogenetic mechanisms in this disease and providing insights for future therapeutic strategies.
2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.