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Mol Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;5(6):616-32.

Acetyl-L-carnitine physical-chemical, metabolic, and therapeutic properties: relevance for its mode of action in Alzheimer's disease and geriatric depression.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. pettegre+@pitt.edu

Abstract

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) contains carnitine and acetyl moieties, both of which have neurobiological properties. Carnitine is important in the beta-oxidation of fatty acids and the acetyl moiety can be used to maintain acetyl-CoA levels. Other reported neurobiological effects of ALCAR include modulation of: (1) brain energy and phospholipid metabolism; (2) cellular macromolecules, including neurotrophic factors and neurohormones; (3) synaptic morphology; and (4) synaptic transmission of multiple neurotransmitters. Potential molecular mechanisms of ALCAR activity include: (1) acetylation of -NH2 and -OH functional groups in amino acids and N terminal amino acids in peptides and proteins resulting in modification of their structure, dynamics, function and turnover; and (2) acting as a molecular chaperone to larger molecules resulting in a change in the structure, molecular dynamics, and function of the larger molecule. ALCAR is reported in double-blind controlled studies to have beneficial effects in major depressive disorders and Alzheimer's disease (AD), both of which are highly prevalent in the geriatric population.

PMID:
11126392
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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