Low levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine in children with diabetes mellitus type I compared with healthy children

J Pediatr. 2011 Apr;158(4):602-606.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.09.058. Epub 2010 Nov 12.


Objective: Although high levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) are associated with an increased risk for vasculopathy in adults, elevated ADMA concentrations also have been found in healthy young children. Patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) are at risk for vasculopathy, and because the function of ADMA in the development of vascular symptoms is incompletely understood, we investigated ADMA concentrations in pediatric patients with DM1 compared with healthy age- and sex-matched individuals.

Study design: This cross-sectional study included 85 pediatric patients with DM1 and 89 age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

Results: ADMA concentrations were significantly lower in the patients with DM1 and were inversely correlated with hemoglobin A1c concentrations.

Conclusions: Besides its vasoprotective function, nitric oxide itself may exert oxidative stress by generating free radicals. In these circumstances, ADMA would protect the system from nitric oxide overproduction and perpetuation of oxidative stress. This theory is supported by the physiologically higher ADMA concentrations in healthy children. Thus, low ADMA concentrations in children with DM1 may be an indicator of impaired protection against oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Arginine / blood
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • N,N-dimethylarginine
  • Arginine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase