Dietary supplementation with l-arginine between days 14 and 25 of gestation enhances NO and polyamine syntheses and the expression of angiogenic proteins in porcine placentae Academic Article uri icon


  • Dietary supplementation with 0.4 or 0.8% L-arginine (Arg) to gilts between days 14 and 25 of gestation enhances embryonic survival and vascular development in placentae; however, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that Arg supplementation stimulated placental expression of mRNAs and proteins that enhance angiogenesis, including endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), placental growth factor (PGF), GTP cyclohydrolase-I (GTP-CH1), ornithine decarboxylase (ODC1), and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1 and 2 (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2). Beginning on the day of breeding, gilts were fed daily 2 kg of a corn-soybean meal-based diet supplemented with 0.0 (control), 0.4, or 0.8% Arg. On day 25 of gestation, gilts were hysterectomized to obtain uteri and conceptuses for histochemical and biochemical analyses. eNOS and VEGFR1 proteins were localized to endothelial cells of maternal uterine blood vessels and to the uterine luminal epithelium, respectively. Compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 0.4 or 0.8% Arg increased (P < 0.05) the amounts of nitrite plus nitrate (NOx; oxidation products of NO) and polyamines in allantoic and amniotic fluids, concentrations of NOx, tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4, an essential cofactor for all NOS isoforms) and polyamines in placentae, as well as placental protein abundances of GTP-CH1 (the key enzyme for BH4 production) and ODC1 (the key enzyme for polyamine synthesis). Placental  mRNA levels for GTP-CH1, eNOS, PGF, VEGF, and VEGFR2 increased in response to both 0.4% and 0.8% Arg supplementation. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary Arg supplementation to gilts between days 14 and 25 of pregnancy promotes placental angiogenesis by increasing the expression of mRNAs and proteins for angiogenic factors as well as NO and polyamine syntheses.

published proceedings

  • Amino Acids

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Elmetwally, M. A., Li, X., Johnson, G. A., Burghardt, R. C., Herring, C. M., Kramer, A. C., ... Wu, G.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Elmetwally, Mohammed A||Li, Xilong||Johnson, Gregory A||Burghardt, Robert C||Herring, Cassandra M||Kramer, Avery C||Meininger, Cynthia J||Bazer, Fuller W||Wu, Guoyao

publication date

  • February 2022