Effect of ammonium acetate-induced hyperammonemia on metabolism of guanidino compounds

Kathleen L. Meert, Devendra R. Deshmukh, Bart Marescau, Peter P. De Deyn, Ashok P. Sarnaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Guanidino compounds are synthesized from arginine in various tissues such as liver, kidney, brain, and skeletal muscle. Guanidino compounds such as arginine and creatine play an important role in nitrogen metabolism, whereas other guanidino compounds such as guanidinosuccinic acid and α-N-acetylarginine are known toxins. In order to understand the changes in the metabolism of guanidino compounds during ammonia toxicity, we investigated the effect of hyperammonemia induced by an ammonium acetate injection on the levels of guanidino compounds in plasma, liver, kidney, and brain of rats. Control animals were injected with an equal volume of saline. Blood and tissues were removed 1 h following ammonium acetate or saline injection and guanidino compounds were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Plasma and kidney levels of guanidinosuccinic acid were significantly elevated in rats challenged with ammonium acetate. Brain α-N-acetylarginine levels were also significantly higher in rats injected with ammonium acetate as compared to those in controls. Our results suggest that guanidinosuccinic acid and α-N-acetylarginine may play an important role in hyperammonemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Medicine and Metabolic Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1991


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