Carnitine alterations in spontaneous and drug-induced turkey congestive cardiomyopathy

Mary Ella M. Pierpont, Dianne Judd, Barbara Borgwardt, George R. Noren, Nancy A. Staley, Stanley Einzig

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17 Scopus citations


Carnitine and acylcarnitines were measured in plasma and tissues of control turkeys, turkeys with an inbred spontaneous cardiomyopathy, and turkeys with fur-azolidone-induced cardiomyopathy. Heart failure was evident in both types of cardiomyopathy from decreased systemic blood pressure and cardiac dilatation compared to controls. Plasma free carnitine, short-chain acylcarnitine, and long-chain acylcarnitine were significantly elevated by 76 to 614% (p < 0.01) in the two cardiomyopathy models compared to control. The highest carnitine levels were found in the most hypotensive turkeys. Liver free carnitine and short-chain acylcarnitine levels were also elevated by 45 to 537% (p < 0.05) in both types of cardiomyopathy. Free carnitine was elevated by 126% in left ventricle and by 54% in skeletal muscle of the furazolidone-treated turkeys (p < 0.05). We speculate that hepatic synthesis of carnitine may be increased in response to hypotension and progressive cardiac dysfunction in cardiomyopathic turkeys. Such an increase may be useful to promote β-oxida-tion of fatty acids as a cardiac energy source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1985


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