Carnitine supplementation and depletion: Tissue carnitines and enzymes in fatty acid oxidation

C. E. Negrao, L. L. Ji, J. E. Schauer, F. J. Nagle, H. A. Lardy

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Abstract

Sixty-two male rats were randomly assigned into a 3 x 2 x 2 factorial design containing 12 groups according to carnitine treatment, exercise training (treadmill, 1 h, 5 times/wk, 8 wk, 26.8 m/min, 15% grade), and physical activity [rested for 60 h before they were killed or with an acute bout of exercise (1 h, 26.8 m/min, 15% grade) immediately before they were killed]. Isotonic saline was injected intraperitoneally 5 times/wk in the controls, whereas 750 mg/kg of L- or D-carnitine, respectively, were injected in the supplemented and depleted treatment groups. A significant increase in free and short-chain acyl carnitine concentration in skeletal muscle and heart was observed in L-carnitine supplemented rats, whereas a significant reduction in skeletal muscle, heart, and liver occurred in rats depleted of L-carnitine. Long-chain acyl carnitine in all tissues was not altered by carnitine treatment; training increased plasma and liver concentrations, whereas acute exercise decreased skeletal muscle and increased liver concentration. An acute bout of exercise significantly increased short-chain acylcarnitine in liver, regardless of carnitine and/or training effects. β-Hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase activity in skeletal muscle was induced by training but reduced by depletion. Carnitine acetyltransferase (CAT) was significantly increased in heart by L-carnitine supplementation, whereas it was reduced by depletion in skeletal muscle. Exercise training significantly increased CAT activity in skeletal muscle but not in heart, whereas acute exercise significantly increased activity in both tissues. Carnitine palmitoyltransferase activity was increased by acute exercise in the heart in only the supplemented and exercise-trained rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume63
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 21 1987

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