Send to

Choose Destination
FEBS Lett. 1999 Jul 9;454(3):207-9.

The effect of aging and acetyl-L-carnitine on the pyruvate transport and oxidation in rat heart mitochondria.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari, Italy.


The effect of aging and acute treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine on the pyruvate transport and oxidation in rat heart mitochondria was studied. The activity of the pyruvate carrier as well as the rates of pyruvate-supported respiration were both depressed (around 40%) in heart mitochondria from aged rats, the major decrease occurring during the second year of life. Administration of acetyl-L-carnitine to aged rats almost completely restored the rates of these metabolic functions to the level of young control rats. This effect of acetyl-L-carnitine was not due to changes in the content of pyruvate carrier molecules. The heart mitochondrial content of cardiolipin, a key phospholipid necessary for mitochondrial substrate transport, was markedly reduced (approximately 40%) in aged rats. Treatment of aged rats with acetyl-L-carnitine reversed the age-associated decline in cardiolipin content. As the changes in cardiolipin content were correlated with changes in rates of pyruvate transport and oxidation, it is suggested that acetyl-L-carnitine reverses the age-related decrement in the mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism by restoring the normal cardiolipin content.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center