Glomerular thrombosis in pregnancy: Role of the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway

Leopoldo Raij, Karen Coffee, Janeth Guerra, Dawn Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


E. coli endotoxin (LPS) and certain cytokines induce synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) from L-arginine, but also promote endothelial injury and intravascular coagulation. NO has vasodilator and antithrombogenic properties. We investigated the relationship between the L-arginine-NO pathway and the susceptibility to LPS-induced glomerular thrombosis in pregnancy. Pregnant rats were given either 0.15 or 0.75 mg/kg/body wt of LPS intraperitoneally. In rats given 0.15 mg/kg/body wt of LPS urinary NO2- /NO3- (end products of NO) increased 200% (P < 0.05), plasma L-arginine did not change, and glomerular thrombosis was minimal. Pregnant rats given 0.75 mg/kg/body wt of LPS developed glomerular thrombosis in 75% of glomeruli (P < 0.05). In these rats plasma L-arginine fell 98%, from 53 ± 4 to 1.4 ± 0.9 mmol/liter (P < 0.05) but the urinary NO2-/NO3- did not increase. Oral administration of L-arginine but not D-arginine increased urinary NO2- /NO3- by 250% and averted glomerular thrombosis in these rats (P < 0.05). Virgin rats given 0.75 mg/kg/body wt of LPS did not contract glomerular thrombosis. In these rats plasma L-arginine decreased only 40% while urinary NO2-/NO3- concomitantly increased over 200% (P < 0.05). Plasma endothelin-1 increased only in rats exhibiting glomerular thrombosis. Thus, limited maternal reserve capability for NO synthesis may underlie, at least in part, the susceptibility for glomerular thrombosis in pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-781
Number of pages7
JournalKidney international
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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