We have recently demonstrated in a double-blind randomized trial the beneficial effects of L-Arginine in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. We hypothesize that one of the mechanisms underlying the favorable effects of L-Arginine is its action on inflammatory cytokines. To verify our hypothesis, we measured longitudinal plasma levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines implied in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 in patients randomized to receive oral L-Arginine or placebo. The study was successfully completed by 169 patients. Patients in the L-Arginine arm had a reduced respiratory support evaluated at 10 and 20 days; moreover, the time to hospital discharge was significantly shorter in the L-Arginine group. The assessment of circulating cytokines revealed that L-Arginine significantly reduced the circulating levels of pro-inflammatory IL-2, IL-6, and IFN-γ and increased the levels of the anti-inflammatory IL-10. Taken together, these findings indicate that adding L-Arginine to standard therapy in COVID-19 patients markedly reduces the need of respiratory support and the duration of in-hospital stay; moreover, L-Arginine significantly regulates circulating levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Fuente: Pharmacological Research
Available online 15 February 2023