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Neurochem Res. 2000 Mar;25(3):395-9.

Effect of long-term feeding with acetyl-L-carnitine on the age-related changes in rat brain lipid composition: a study by 31P NMR spectroscopy.

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Department of Biochemistry, Sigma-Tau Labs, Pomezia, Italy.


Changes in brain lipid composition have been determined in 24 months-old Fischer rats with respect to 6 months-old ones. The cerebral levels of sphingomyelin and cholesterol were found to be significantly increased in aged rats, whereas the amount of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidic acid appear to be unaffected by aging. Long-term feeding with acetyl-L-carnitine was able to reduce the age-dependent increase of both sphingomyelin and cholesterol cerebral levels with no effect on the other measured phospholipids. These findings shown that changes in membrane lipid metabolism and/or composition represent one of the alterations occurring in rat brain with aging, and that long-term feeding with acetyl-L-carnitine can be useful in normalizing these age-dependent disturbances.

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