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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2 (1993), Issue 7, Pages S51-S56
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/S0962935193000766
Research paper

Amelioration of popolysaccharide-induced sepsis in rats by free and esterified carnitine

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 Eye Street N.W., Washington, DC 20037, USA
2Sigma Tau SpA, Via Pontina Km 30, Pomezia, Rome 400-00040, Italy
3Department of Emergency Medicine, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 Eye Street N.W., Washington, DC 20037, USA

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if free or esterified carnitine could alter fatty acid metabolism and ameliorate sepsis in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rats. Throughout a 96 h observation post-LPS, i.p. administration of both markedly reduced illness and accelerated recovery. Carnitine prevented the acute LPS-induced rise in serum triglycerides (45 ± 6, 59 ± 5 vs. 83 ± 8 mg/ml, p < 0.001), respectively. This difference was accompanied by a significant increase in liver lipogenesis in LPS controls compared to both carnitines and normal rats (6.1 ± 0.3 vs. 3.9 ± 0.5, 4.3 ± 0.5, and 1.8 ± 0.4 μmol/h, respectively, p < 0.04). Compared to normal rats, total liver carnitine was significantly elevated in LPS controls and even higher in the carnitine groups (357 ± 40 vs. 736 ± 38, 796 ± 79, and 1081 ± 21 nmol/g). The data suggest that carnitines may be of therapeutic value in sepsis treatment and one action may be to partition fatty acids from esterification to oxidation.