Effect of L-carnitine on carrageenan-induced inflammation in aged rats

Izgut-Uysal V. N., Agac A., Derin N.

GERONTOLOGY, vol.49, no.5, pp.287-292, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000071709
  • Journal Name: GERONTOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.287-292
  • Keywords: aging, carrageenan-induced inflammation, superoxide anion, phagocytosis, chemotaxis, ACETYL-L-CARNITINE, PERITONEAL-MACROPHAGES, RESPIRATORY BURST, IMMUNE-SYSTEM, OLD MICE, BRAIN, NEUTROPHILS, LEUKOCYTES, ACTIVATION, DECREASE
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Background. It is known that L-carnitine is a cofactor in the transport of fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membrane for beta-oxidation. However, L-carnitine is an antioxidant compound widely used for the treatment of deficits in functions due to the aging process. Objective: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of L-carnitine on carrageenan-induced inflammation in aged rats. Methods: L-Carnitine (50 mg/kg/day) or control vehicle was given by gavage for 30 consecutive days to young (2-month-old) and aged (24-month old) rats. 6 ml of air was injected subcutaneously into the dorsum of each rat, followed 2 days later by 4 ml of 2% carrageenan. After 2 days, the exudate was collected from the inflamed site of each rat. The quantity of collected exudate and the number of cells which have migrated to the inflamed site were determined. Results: No differences were observed in quantity of exudate in all groups; a decrease in the number of exudate cells was established in aged rats. However, L-carnitine treatment significantly increased the number of exudate cells in both young and aged rats. The exudate cells from the aged rats exhibited a decline of both phagocytic and chemotactic activities as compared with those from the young rats, and the decreased functions were significantly enhanced by L-carnitine treatment. However, superoxide anion release was seen to be unchanged in exudate cells due to aging, and L-carnitine intake decreased the production of superoxide anion by these cells in young and aged rats. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that L-carnitine is capable of restoring the age-related changes in the functions of inflammatory cells. Moreover, L-carnitine may play a protective role in the tissue destruction in inflammation by decreasing the superoxide anion production.