Activated whole-body arginine pathway in high-active mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Our previous studies suggest that physical activity (PA) levels are potentially regulated by endogenous metabolic mechanisms such as the vasodilatory roles of nitric oxide (NO) production via the precursor arginine (ARG) and ARG-related pathways. We assessed ARG metabolism and its precursors [citrulline (CIT), glutamine (GLN), glutamate (GLU), ornithine (ORN), and phenylalanine (PHE)] by measuring plasma concentration, whole-body production (WBP), de novo ARG and NO production, and clearance rates in previously classified low-active (LA) or high-active (HA) mice. We assessed LA (n = 23) and HA (n = 20) male mice by administering a stable isotope tracer pulse via jugular catheterization. We measured plasma enrichments via liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and body compostion by echo-MRI. WBP, clearance rates, and de novo ARG and NO were calculated. Compared to LA mice, HA mice had lower plasma concentrations of GLU (71.1%; 36.8 2.9 vs. 17.5 1.7M; p<0.0001), CIT (21%; 57.3 2.3 vs. 46.4 1.5M; p = 0.0003), and ORN (40.1%; 55.4 7.3 vs. 36.9 2.6M; p = 0.0241), but no differences for GLN, PHE, and ARG. However, HA mice had higher estimated NO production ratio (0.64 0.08; p = 0.0197), higher WBP for CIT (21.8%, 8.6 0.2 vs. 10.7 0.3 nmol/g-lbm/min; p<0.0001), ARG (21.4%, 35.0 0.6 vs. 43.4 0.7 nmol/g-lbm/min; p<0.0001), PHE (7.6%, 23.8 0.5 vs. 25.6 0.5 nmol/g-lbm/min; p<0.0100), and lower GLU (78.5%; 9.4 1.1 vs. 4.1 1.6 nmol/g lbm/min; p = 0.0161). We observed no significant differences in WBP for GLN, ORN, PHE, or de novo ARG. We concluded that HA mice have an activated whole-body ARG pathway, which may be associated with regulating PA levels via increased NO production.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

altmetric score

  • 1.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Granados, J. Z., Ten Have, G., Letsinger, A. C., Thaden, J. J., Engelen, M., Lightfoot, J. T., & Deutz, N.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Granados, Jorge Z||Ten Have, Gabriella AM||Letsinger, Ayland C||Thaden, John J||Engelen, Marielle PKJ||Lightfoot, J Timothy||Deutz, Nicolaas EP

editor list (cited editors)

  • Blachier, F.

publication date

  • June 2020