IMR Press / FBE / Volume 5 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/E664

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Cardiac effects of carnitine supplementation in experimental uraemia

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1 Department of Biological Sciences and Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
2 Department of Renal Medicine, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust, and Hull York Medical School Kingston-uponHull, United Kingdom

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2013, 5(3), 834–844;
Published: 1 June 2013

Cardiovascular complications are the leading cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease. The uraemic heart undergoes remodelling and changes in metabolic function. Experimental uraemia produces a reduction in the myocardial energy reserve phosphocreatine in parallel with left ventricular hypertrophy and depletion of serum carnitine. This study investigated the effects of chronic L-carnitine supplementation on myocardial substrate metabolism and function in the experimental uraemia. Experimental uraemia was induced surgically in male Sprague-Dawley rats via a subtotal nephrectomy. Carnitine was administered continuously via subcutaneous mini-osmotic pumps. Cardiac function and substrate oxidation were assessed in vitro by means of isovolumic perfusion using 13C NMR, at 3 and 6 weeks. Uraemic animals exhibited anaemia, kidney dysfunction and systemic carnitine deficiency but no myocardial tissue carnitine deficiency. Myocardial hypertrophy was abolished following carnitine supplementation. This was associated with a reduction in glucose utilisation. In summary carnitine supplementation prevents cardiac hypertrophy, and this effect is amplified with the duration of treatment. This is associated with a reduction in myocardial glucose utilisation but no significant modulation of myocardial function.

Chronic Kidney Disease
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