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Pharmacol Res. 2006 Sep;54(3):165-71. Epub 2006 May 1.

Protective role of carnitine ester against radiation-induced oxidative stress in rats.

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Health Radiation Research Department, National Center for Radiation Research and Technology, P.O. Box 29, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt. <>


The aim of this study was to investigate the antioxidant effect of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) against gamma-irradiation-induced oxidative damage in liver and lung tissue after total body irradiation with a single dose of 6Gy. To achieve the ultimate goal of this study, 40 adult rats were randomly divided into 4 groups of 10 animals each. Group I was injected intraperitoneally with saline solution for 5 consecutive days and served as control group. Group II was irradiated with a single dose of 6Gy. Group III was daily injected with ALC (250 mg kg(-1), i.p.) for 5 consecutive days. Group IV received a daily i.p. injection of ALC (250 mg kg(-1), i.p.) for 5 consecutive days and 1h after the last dose, rats were irradiated with a single dose (6Gy). The animals were sacrified after 24h. Administration of ALC for 5 consecutive days resulted in a significant increase in the activities of both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) and the level of reduced glutathione (GSH), in lung and liver tissues which were reduced by radiation treatment. Also, ALC resulted in a significant decrease in total nitrate/nitrite (NO(x)) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in both lung and liver tissues and a significant decrease in triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL), high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL), total cholesterol, Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels and Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP) compared to irradiated group. In conclusion, data obtained from this study indicate that ALC could increase the endogenous antioxidant defense mechanism in rat and there by protect the animals from radiation-induced organs toxicity.

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