Published online Aug 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i32.9466
Peer-review started: April 24, 2015
First decision: May 18, 2015
Revised: June 5, 2015
Accepted: July 18, 2015
Article in press: July 18, 2015
Published online: August 28, 2015
Core tip: Several lines of evidence point out that the liver is an important organ clearing asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase and a mediator of elevated intrahepatic vascular tone in cirrhosis. ADMA is degraded by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolases that are expressed widely in the liver. Therefore, liver dysfunction could lead to alterations in the levels of ADMA and modifies nitric oxide bioavailability. Our increasing understanding of the routes of synthesis and metabolism of methylarginines is beginning to provide insights into novel mechanisms of liver disease and allowing us to identify potential therapeutic opportunities.