SULM – Schweizerische Union für Labormedizin | Union Suisse de Médecine de Laboratoire | Swiss Union of Laboratory Medicine

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Serenay Elgun1 , Ilker Durak2

1Department of Biochemistry, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara Turkey., 2Department of Biochemistry, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara Turkey.

Objective: Arginase regulates intracellular arginine concentration by letting less arginine available for the use of nitric oxide synthase which leads to reduced nitric oxide (NO) production (1). We aimed investigate possible role of NO in pleural effusions in connection with arginase which controls the synthesis of NO through arginine depletion.
Methods: Pleural fluid samples of 12 patients with lung cancer and 12 with congestive heart failure (CHF) were used for arginase activity and NO level determination (2, 3). Results were compared with those of 20 patients with tuberculous pleural effusion.
Results: Pleural arginase activity in lung cancer patients was found to be significantly increased compared to tuberculosis and CHF patients, while NO level was lower in lung cancer group than the tuberculosis patients. All groups except for the CHF, had significant correlations between NO level and WBC count. Arginase activity and RBC count correlated significantly in lung cancer and CHF groups.
Summary and Conclusion: Increased arginase activity found in pleural fluid samples of lung cancer patients may cause arginine depletion, which may then lead to decreased NO synthesis by macrophages, reflecting their impaired cytotoxic/cytostatic activity. White and red blood cells, may be the source of NO production and arginase activity detected in the pleural fluid samples or at least they may contribute by releasing a variety of mediators and proteins since significant correlations were established between NO levels and WBC counts in all groups other than CHF patients and RBC counts significantly correlated with arginase activity in lung cancer and CHF groups (4).
1.Chang CI, Liao JC, Kuo LX. Am J Physiol 1998;274:H342-8.
2.Chinard FP. J Biol Chem 1952;199:91-5.
3.Durak I, Kavutcu M, Kaçmaz M, Avci A, Horasanli E, Dikmen B. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 2001;45:119-22.
4.Valdes L, Pose A, San Jose E, Martinez Vazquez JM. Eur J Intern Med 2003;14:77-88.


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