Association of asymmetric dimethylarginine with severity of kidney injury and decline in kidney function in IgA nephropathy

Am J Nephrol. 2011;33(1):1-6. doi: 10.1159/000322367. Epub 2010 Nov 26.


Background: Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) plays important roles in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We have recently found that ADMA is involved in glomerular sclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in an animal model of CKD. However, relationship between plasma ADMA levels and severity of renal damage in CKD patients remains unknown.

Methods: Relatively young 109 biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients (age: 32.7 ± 13.2; estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR: 86.5 ± 28.8 ml/min/1.73 m²) were enrolled. We retrospectively investigated whether plasma levels of ADMA were associated with severity of the renal tissue damage and could be a predictor of the disease progression in our subjects.

Results: ADMA levels were higher in IgAN patients than age-, sex- and mean eGFR-matched healthy volunteers (0.53 ± 0.14 vs. 0.43 ± 0.08 μM, p < 0.01). ADMA levels were associated with the severity of glomerular and tubulointerstitial injury. Multiple stepwise regression analysis revealed that ADMA, but not proteinuria was an independent determinant for the disease progression assessed by annual reduction rates of eGFR. In univariate analyses, ADMA levels were correlated with proteinuria, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and uric acid. Proteinuria was a sole independent correlate of ADMA in multiple stepwise regression analysis.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that ADMA was correlated with the severity of the renal tissue damage and could be a predictor of disease progression in IgAN patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Arginine / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / blood*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking


  • N,N-dimethylarginine
  • Arginine