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Asymmetric DimethylarginineAsymmetric Dimethylarginine in Asthma: A Disease Marker for Asthma?

Jeremy A. Scott, PhD; Hartmut Grasemann, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Health Sciences (Dr Scott), Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Lakehead University, and Division of Medical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine; and the Division of Respiratory Medicine (Dr Grasemann), Department of Pediatrics, and Program in Physiology and Experimental Medicine, SickKids Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto.

Correspondence to: Hartmut Grasemann, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada; e-mail: hartmut.grasemann@sickkids.ca


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;144(2):367-368. doi:10.1378/chest.13-0480
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Nitric oxide (NO) is a messenger molecule that is critical for the maintenance of normal lung and airway function. NO is the product of the enzymatic conversion of l-arginine to l-citrulline, which is catalyzed by NO synthases (NOSs). The regulation of NOS activity depends on transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms and varies among the different NOS isoforms. Increased expression of inducible NOS in airway inflammation is thought to cause the elevated exhaled NO levels that can be found in patients with asthma.1 However, recent evidence from animal models suggests that airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma may actually be related to reduced bioavailability of l-arginine for NOS and subsequent NO deficiency.

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