L-Carnitine induces recovery of liver lipid metabolism in cancer cachexia.Amino Acids. 2012 May; 42(5):1783-92.AA
Cancer cachexia causes metabolic alterations with a marked effect on hepatic lipid metabolism. L-Carnitine modulates lipid metabolism and its supplementation has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy in many diseases. In the present study, the effects of L-carnitine supplementation on gene expression and on liver lipid metabolism-related proteins was investigated in cachectic tumour-bearing rats. Wistar rats were assigned to receive 1 g/kg of L-carnitine or saline. After 14 days, supplemented and control animals were assigned to a control (N), control supplemented with L-carnitine (CN), tumour-bearing Walker 256 carcinosarcoma (TB) and tumour-bearing supplemented with L-carnitine (CTB) group. The mRNA expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I and II (CPT I and II), microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha) and organic cation transporter 2 (OCTN2) was assessed, and the maximal activity of CPT I and II in the liver measured, along with plasma and liver triacylglycerol content. The gene expression of MTP, and CPT I catalytic activity were reduced in TB, who also showed increased liver (150%) and plasma (3.3-fold) triacylglycerol content. L-Carnitine supplementation was able to restore these parameters back to control values (p<0.05). These data show that L-carnitine preserves hepatic lipid metabolism in tumour-bearing animals, suggesting its supplementation to be of potential interest in cachexia.