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Abstract

NEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE RESEARCH AND TREATMENT OF TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS AND ITS COMPLICATIONS. THE ROLE OF L-ARGININE AND POLYAMINES

José D. Méndez*

ABSTRACT

In this paper, evidence on the beneficial actions of L-arginine and polyamines obtained in experimental diabetes and from in vitro studies carried out under hyperglycemia conditions are presented. Several decades ago L-arginine was shown to be one of the most potent insulin secretagogue. Subsequently, polyamines, arginine-derived molecules, were shown to increase in pancreatic islets when the proliferation of cells is induced by glucose and other substances with hormonal action. L-Arginine and polyamines have shown beneficial effects not only in the regulation of hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in experimental diabetes, but also in the prevention of glycation of proteins, lipid peroxidation, and embryotoxicity, in addition to the antiaggregant effect on platelets from different sources including human platelets. Inhibition of low density lipoprotein oxidation of type 2 diabetics was also demonstrated, being spermine the polyamine with the most potent inhibitory effect than α-tocopherol. Recently, was informed that fragmentation of sperm DNA in hyperglycemia conditions is inhibited by polyamines, specially by spermine. Other studies are being conducted to evaluate the possible use of these substances in humans as a therapeutic treatment.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, Hyperglycemia, Glycation, Lipid peroxidation, LArginine, Polyamines, Spermine, Spermidine, Putrescine, Cadaverine.


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