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Open AccessArticle

Circulating Concentrations of Key Regulators of Nitric Oxide Production in Undernourished Sheep Carrying Single and Multiple Fetuses

1
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy
2
AGRIS Sardegna, Loc. Bonassai, 07100 Sassari, Italy
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Viale S. Pietro, 43/C, 07100 Sassari, Italy
4
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide 5042, Australia
5
Comparative Physiology Group, SGIT-INIA, Av. Puerta de Hierro, 18, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010065
Received: 12 November 2019 / Revised: 15 December 2019 / Accepted: 23 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal Nutrition on Fetal and Newborns Health)
The present study aimed to determine the blood concentrations of L-arginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), and L-homoarginine, modulating nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, in single, twin. and triplet pregnancies in ewes undergoing either dietary energy restriction or receiving 100% of their energy requirements. Blood concentrations of L-arginine, of its metabolites. and the ratio between NO synthesis boosters and inhibitors are altered in energy-restricted ewes, these alterations being higher in ewes carrying multiple fetuses.
The aim of this study was to investigate the blood concentrations of L-arginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), and L-homoarginine, which are regulators of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, in single, twin, and triplet pregnancies in ewes undergoing either a dietary energy restriction or receiving 100% of their energy requirements. From day 24 to 100 of pregnancy, the ewes were fed ryegrass hay and two different iso-proteic concentrates fulfilling either 100% of ewes’ energy requirements (control group; n = 30, 14 singleton pregnancies, 12 twin pregnancies, and 4 triplet pregnancies) or only 45% (feed-restricted group; n = 29; 11 singleton pregnancies, 15 twin pregnancies, and 3 triplet pregnancies). Blood samples were collected monthly to measure, by capillary electrophoresis, the circulating concentrations of arginine, ADMA, homoarginine, SDMA, and of other amino acids not involved in NO synthesis to rule out possible direct effects of diet restriction on their concentrations. No differences between groups were observed in the circulating concentrations of most of the amino acids investigated. L-homoarginine increased markedly in both groups during pregnancy (p < 0.001). SDMA (p < 0.01), L-arginine, and ADMA concentrations were higher in feed-restricted ewes than in controls. The L-arginine/ADMA ratio, an indicator of NO production by NOS, decreased towards term without differences between groups. The ADMA/SDMA ratio, an index of the ADMA degrading enzyme activity, was higher in controls than in feed-restricted ewes (p < 0.001). Obtained results show that circulating concentrations of L-arginine, of its metabolites, and the ratio between NO synthesis boosters and inhibitors are altered in energy-restricted ewes, and that these alterations are more marked in ewes carrying multiple fetuses. View Full-Text
Keywords: ADMA; SDMA; L-homoarginine; sheep; twins; triplets; L-arginine; nitric oxide ADMA; SDMA; L-homoarginine; sheep; twins; triplets; L-arginine; nitric oxide
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Berlinguer, F.; Porcu, C.; Molle, G.; Cabiddu, A.; Dattena, M.; Gallus, M.; Pasciu, V.; Succu, S.; Sotgiu, F.D.; Paliogiannis, P.; Sotgia, S.; Mangoni, A.A.; Gonzalez-Bulnes, A.; Carru, C.; Zinellu, A. Circulating Concentrations of Key Regulators of Nitric Oxide Production in Undernourished Sheep Carrying Single and Multiple Fetuses. Animals 2020, 10, 65.

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