Rainer H Boger

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (15)62.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial dysfunction as assessed by asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and inflammation has been consistently linked to atherosclerosis, death, and cardiovascular (CV) events in ESRD patients. Inflammation amplifies the effect of ADMA on the severity of atherosclerosis in ESRD patients, but it is still unknown whether inflammation and ADMA interact in the high risk of death and CV events in this population. In a cohort of 225 hemodialysis patients, we investigated the interaction between inflammatory biomarkers (C-reactive protein and IL-6) and ADMA as predictors of death and CV events over an extended follow-up (13 years). During follow-up, 160 patients died, and 123 had CV events. With crude and multiple Cox regression analyses, an interaction was found between inflammation biomarkers and ADMA for explaining death and CV events in ESRD patients. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for death (HR, 2.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34 to 3.54) and CV outcomes (HR, 2.59; 95% CI, 1.47 to 4.55) of patients with C-reactive protein and ADMA above the median were higher than expected in the absence of interaction under the additive model (1.15 and 1.97, respectively) and significantly higher than in patients with only one biomarker above the median. Data analyses carried out by stratifying patients according to IL-6 provided similar results. These data support the hypothesis that inflammation amplifies the risk of death and CV events associated with high ADMA levels in ESRD. These analyses further emphasize the need for intervention studies to attenuate inflammation and high ADMA levels in this population.
    Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 06/2011; 6(7):1714-21. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelium plays a crucial role in the maintenance of vascular tone and structure. Endothelial dysfunction is known to precede overt coronary artery disease. A number of cardiovascular risk factors, as well as metabolic diseases and systemic or local inflammation cause endothelial dysfunction. Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the major endothelium derived vaso-active substances whose role is of prime importance in maintaining endothelial homeostasis. Low levels of NO are associated with impaired endothelial function. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an analogue of L-arginine, is a naturally occurring product of metabolism found in human circulation. Elevated levels of ADMA inhibit NO synthesis and therefore impair endothelial function and thus promote atherosclerosis. ADMA levels are increased in people with hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, chronic heart failure, diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure. A number of studies have reported ADMA as a novel risk marker of cardiovascular disease. Increased levels of ADMA have been shown to be the strongest risk predictor, beyond traditional risk factors, of cardiovascular events and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in people with coronary artery disease. Interventions such as treatment with L-arginine have been shown to improve endothelium-mediated vasodilatation in people with high ADMA levels. However the clinical utility of modifying circulating ADMA levels remains uncertain.
    Current Cardiology Reviews 05/2010; 6(2):82-90.
  • Circulation 01/2009; 120(22):2222-2229. · 15.20 Impact Factor
  • Atherosclerosis Supplements 06/2007; 8(1):205-205. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOs) asymmetrical dimethyl-arginine (ADMA) has been implicated as a possible modulator of inducible NOs during acute inflammation. We examined the evolution in the plasma concentration of ADMA measured at the clinical outset of acute inflammation and after its resolution in a series of 17 patients with acute bacterial infections. During the acute phase of inflammation/infection, patients displayed very high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), procalcitonin and nitrotyrosine. Simultaneous plasma ADMA concentration was similar to that in healthy subjects while symmetric dimethyl-arginine (SDMA) levels were substantially increased and directly related with creatinine. When infection resolved, ADMA rose from 0.62 +/- 0.23 to 0.80 +/- 0.18 micromol/l (+29%, P = 0.01) while SDMA remained unmodified. ADMA changes were independent on concomitant risk factor changes and inversely related with baseline systolic and diastolic pressure. Changes in the ADMA/SDMA ratio were compatible with the hypothesis that inflammatory cytokines activate ADMA degradation. Resolution of acute inflammation is characterized by an increase in the plasma concentration of ADMA. The results imply that ADMA suppression may actually serve to stimulate NO synthesis or that in this situation plasma ADMA levels may not reflect the inhibitory potential of this methylarginine at the cellular level.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 04/2007; 22(3):801-6. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    Atherosclerosis Supplements - ATHEROSCLER SUPPL. 01/2007; 8(1):166-166.
  • Atherosclerosis Supplements - ATHEROSCLER SUPPL. 01/2007; 8(1):115-115.
  • Rainer H. Boger
    Nitric Oxide-biology and Chemistry - NITRIC OXIDE-BIOL CHEM. 01/2006; 14(4):11-11.
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the relationship between ADMA plasma levels and endothelium-dependent vasodilation in 36 never-treated essential hypertensives and in 8 normotensive healthy subjects. It has been demonstrated that endothelium-dependent vasodilatation is impaired in essential hypertension. The potential contribution of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) to endothelial dysfunction of hypertensive humans has received poor attention. Endothelial function was measured during intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine (ACh), alone and during co-infusion of L-arginine, and sodium nitroprusside at increasing doses. Concentrations of ADMA and L-arginine in plasma were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Hypertensive subjects had significantly higher ADMA and L-arginine plasma concentrations than normotensive healthy controls; ACh-stimulated forearm blood flow (FBF) was significantly reduced in hypertensive subjects in comparison to normotensive control subjects (p < 0.0001). Intra-arterial coinfusion of L-arginine induced a further significant enhancement in ACh-stimulated vasodilation in hypertensive patients. In these, ADMA was strongly and inversely associated with the peak increase in FBF. In a multivariate model, only ADMA and L-arginine were independent correlates, accounting for 33.9% and 8.9% of the variability in the peak FBF response to ACh (p < 0.0001), respectively. The main finding in this study is that in essential hypertensives the L-arginine and endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, ADMA, are inversely related to endothelial function.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 09/2005; 46(3):518-23. · 14.09 Impact Factor
  • Rainer H Boger
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with decreased vascular reactivity and increased cardiovascular morbidity. Oxidative stress and reduced NO bioavailability have been proposed as a mechanism for the adverse effects of chronically elevated plasma homocysteine levels. Recent studies suggest that acute elevations of plasma homocysteine may also impair endothelial function and vasodilation, however, the mechanism is not clear. In the present study, we investigated whether moderate hyperhomocysteinemia after methionine loading decreases NO bioavailability, increases oxidative stress, and impairs receptor-mediated NO-dependent venodilation in healthy adults. After oral methionine loading (0.1g/kg), mean homocysteine concentrations increased 3.2-fold, from 6.9 ± 0.5 to 27.8 ± 1.9μmol/l (n = 16), whereas plasma NOx concentrations, an indicator of NO release, were decreased by 12% compared to placebo treatment (P = 0.005). Vitamin E levels in freshly isolated low density lipoprotein (LDL), a sensitive marker of LDL oxidation, and LDL lipid (hydro)peroxide levels were unchanged after methionine loading. Endothelium-dependent venodilation induced by bradykinin was reduced by 18% during hyperhomocysteinemia (P = 0.06). Taken together our data suggest that the reduced NO bioavailability was likely due to decreased NO synthesis and release rather than to NO destruction by oxidative stress.
    Atherosclerosis 05/2005; 179(2):419-20. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental hyperhomocysteinemia after an oral methionine or homocysteine load is associated with impaired nitric oxide-dependent vasodilatation in healthy human beings. However, it remains unproven that this effect is mediated by elevations in plasma homocysteine. There is evidence that an increase in plasma homocysteine may increase the formation of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. The methyl groups within ADMA are derived from the conversion of S -adenosylmethionine to S -adenosylhomocysteine intermediates in the methionine/homocysteine pathway. No previous study has assessed the role of methylation status, its impact on ADMA formation, and their association with endothelial function in healthy human beings. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study, 10 healthy subjects (mean age, 29.1 +/- 3.9 years) were administered an oral dose of methionine (0.1 g/kg), l -homocysteine (0.01 g/kg), N-acetylcysteine (NAC) (0.1 g/kg), or placebo. Endothelial function as assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery was impaired after both the methionine and homocysteine load compared with placebo at 4 hours (36 +/- 15, 67 +/- 23 vs 219 +/- 26 microm, respectively, P < .001). N-Acetylcysteine had no effect on flow-mediated dilatation. Plasma total homocysteine was significantly elevated at 4 hours after methionine (23.1 +/- 6.2) and homocysteine (41.5 +/- 8.9) loading, but significantly reduced after NAC 2.4 +/- 0.6 vs 7.1 +/- 2.1 micromol/L in the placebo (P < .001). Plasma S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio was significantly (P < .001) increased at 4 hours after methionine (10.9 +/- 0.7) compared with homocysteine (5.4 +/- 0.4), NAC (5.0 +/- 0.3), and placebo (6.0 +/- 0.5). Plasma ADMA concentrations were not altered by any intervention. Our results suggest that endothelial dysfunction due to methionine or homocysteine loading is not associated with an increase in plasma ADMA or a disruption in methylation status.
    Metabolism 04/2005; 54(3):351-60. · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 03/2004; 43(5). · 14.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Analoguesof L-argininethat are chem- ically modified at the terminal guanidino nitrogen group, such as N"'-monomethY-L-arginine (L- NMMA), have been used for nitric oxide synthase in- hibition. However, L-NMMA and other methylated L-arginine analogues are also endogenously formed. Among these, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) have been shown to be the most abundant. Like L-NMMA, ADMA is an inhibitor of NO synthase, whereas SDMAis inactive. ADMA is synthesized by N-methyl- transferases, a family of enzymes that methylate L- arginine residues within specific proteins. Free ADMA is released during proteolytic cleavage of methylated proteins; it can be detected in plasma and urine, but its intracellular concentrations appear to be much higher. ADMA is metabolized by the enzyme dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), and inhibition of DDAH activity has been shown to lead to increased ADMA levels and endothelial dys- function. Plasma levels of ADMA are elevated in end- stage renal failure, in atherosclerosis and hypercho- lesterolemia, in hypertension, and in heart failure. Although the molecular cause for elevation of ADMA concentration in these diseases has not been fully elu- cidated, evidence is accumulating that ADMA is one cause of endothelial dysfunction in these diseases. Moreover, it may be a marker or even a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Therefore, pharmacologi- cal modulation of ADMA concentration may be a novel therapeutic target in cardiovascular diseases.
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    Rainer H. Boger
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    ABSTRACT: There is abundant evidence that the endothelium plays a crucial role in the maintenance of vascular tone and structure. One of the major endothelium-derived vasoactive mediators is nitric oxide (NO). Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of NO synthase. ADMA inhibits vascular NO production at concentrations found in pathophysiological conditions (i.e., 3-15 mmol / l); ADMA also causes local vasoconstriction when it is infused intraarterially. The biochemical and physiological pathways related to ADMA are now well understood: dimethylarginines are the result of the degradation of methylated proteins; the methyl group is derived from S-adenosylmethionine. Both ADMA and its regioisomer, SDMA, are eliminated from the body by renal excretion, whereas only ADMA, but not SDMA, is metabolized via hydrolytic degradation to citrulline and dimethylamine by the enzyme dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH). DDAH activity and / or expression may therefore contribute to the pathogenesis of endothelial dysfunction in various diseases. ADMA is increased in the plasma of humans with hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, chronic renal failure, and chronic heart failure. Increased ADMA levels are associated with reduced NO synthesis as assessed by impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation. In several prospective and cross-sectional studies, ADMA evolved as a marker of cardiovascular risk. With our increasing knowledge of the role of ADMA in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, ADMA is becoming a goal for pharmacotherapeutic intervention. Among other treatments, the administration of L-arginine has been shown to improve endothelium-
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperhomocyst(e)inaemia is associated with endotheiial dysfunction in animals and humans. Mechanisms responsible for endothelial dysfunction in hyperhomocyst(ejinaemia are poorly understood. but may involve impaired bioavailability of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (NO), We hypothesized that acute elevation of homocyst(e)ine by oral methionine loading may stimulate the formation of asymmetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of NO synthase, due to a transmethylation reaction during the formation of hamocyst(ejine from methionine. Westudied nine healthy human subjects (five males. fourlemales) aged 29iZyears. Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) in the brachial artery (endothelium-dependenr) and vasodilation induced by nitroglycerine (endothelium-independent) were measured with high- resolution uitrasaund before and 8 h alter oral methionine (100 mg/kg in cranberry juice) or placebo (cranberry juice), on separate days and in random order. Plasma homocyst(e)ine and ADMA concentrations were measured by specific HPLC methods. After a methionine boiur, elevation 01 homocyst(e)ine (28.4k3.5 ijmoljl) was associated with an increased plasma concentration of ADMA (2.03fO.18 pol/l) and reduced FMD (1.54t_0.92%). Placebo had no effect an these parameters. There was a significant inverse linear relationship between ADMA concentration and FMD (r = -0.49; P

Publication Stats

326 Citations
62.95 Total Impact Points


  • 2010
    • Newcastle University
      • Institute of Cellular Medicine
      Newcastle upon Tyne, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2006
    • University Medical Center Hamburg - Eppendorf
      • Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany