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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 646171, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/646171
Research Article

Potential Therapeutic Role of L-Carnitine in Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Stress and Atrophy Conditions

1Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
2Metabolism Research Center, San Donato Hospital and Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
3Diabetes Research Institute, Metabolism, Nutrigenomics and Cellular Differentiation Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 60 Olgettina street, 20132 Milan, Italy

Received 26 November 2014; Accepted 23 January 2015

Academic Editor: Ryuichi Morishita

Copyright © 2015 Anna Montesano et al. 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 targeting of nutraceutical treatment to skeletal muscle damage is an emerging area of research, driven by the need for new therapies for a range of muscle-associated diseases. L-Carnitine (CARN) is an essential nutrient and plays a key role in mitochondrial β-oxidation and in the ubiquitin-proteasome system regulation. As a dietary supplement to improve athletic performance, CARN has been studied for its potential to enhance β-oxidation. However, CARN effects on myogenesis, mitochondrial activity, and hypertrophy process are not completely elucidated. This in vitro study aims to investigate CARN role on skeletal muscle remodeling, differentiation process, and myotubes formation. We analyzed muscle differentiation and morphological features in C2C12 myoblasts exposed to 5 mM CARN. Our results showed that CARN was able to accelerate C2C12 myotubes formation and induce morphological changes, characterizing the start of hypertrophy process. In addition, CARN improved AKT activation and downstream cellular signaling pathways involved in skeletal muscle atrophy process prevention. Also, CARN positively regulated the pathways involved in oxidative stress defense. In this work, we provide an interesting novel mechanism of the potential therapeutic use of CARN to treat pathological conditions characterized by skeletal muscle morphological and functional impairment, oxidative stress production, and atrophy process in aging.