Effect of Treatment with DL-carnitine after Acute Alcoholization in Rats

  • Guilherme Vannucchi Portari Department of Internal Medicine, Course of Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto/USP, Ribeirão Preto/SP
  • José Simon Camelo Department of Pediatrics, Course of Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto/USP, Ribeirão Preto/SP
  • Estela Irachi Rabito Evangelical Faculty of Paraná, Curitiba-PR
  • Júlio Sérgio Marchini Department of Internal Medicine, Course of Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto/USP, Ribeirão Preto/SP
  • Alceu A Jordao Department of Internal Medicine, Course of Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto/USP, Ribeirão Preto/SP

Abstract

Acute ethanol consumption leads to the formation of free radicals. Among other functions, carnitine has  an important antioxidant role and chronic ethanol use leads to carnitine deficiency. The objective of the  present study was to determine the variation in the carnitine pool (free cernitine plus its acylated derivates)  and the hepatic oxidative stress occurring in the presence of acute ethanol administration followed by  treatment with carnitine in rats. Male Wistar rats weighing approximately 60 g were divided at random  into four groups of 7 animals each, i.e., group receiving carnitine, group receiving carnitine plus ethanol,  group receiving ethanol alone, and untreated control. Acute administration of ethanol and/or carnitine did  not change the total amount of carnitine and its derivates in plasma but did alter their profile with the free  carnitine increasing to over 75%, while the mean percentage of free carnitine in the control group was 33.2%.  There was marked carnitine excretion in the groups treated with DL-carnitine. Higher lipid peroxidation  was detected in the groups receiving carnitine, with the maintenance of vitamin E. We conclude that the  administration of DL-carnitine after an episode of alcohol intoxication has no beneficial effect in terms of  hepatic oxidative stress. 

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