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Mech Ageing Dev. 2007 Feb;128(2):206-12. Epub 2006 Dec 29.

Mitigation of age-dependent oxidative damage to DNA in rat heart by carnitine and lipoic acid.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Dr. ALMPG Institute of Basic Medical Science, University of Madras, Taramani, Chennai 600113, India.


Endogenous damage to mtDNA by free radicals is believed to be a major contributory factor to aging. Mitochondrial DNA exists in a highly genotoxic environment created by exposure to reactive oxygen species and thus are more vulnerable to free radical attack. In the present study we have focused on the age associated alterations to DNA during aging and in parallel investigated the efficacy of carnitine (300 mg/kg bw) and lipoic acid (100 mg/kg bw) for 28 days in altering these changes. We observed a decline in the content of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA during aging with an exponential increase in the 8-OHdG levels. We also observed an age-dependent increase in DNA protein crosslinks and double strand and single strand breaks. Supplementation of carnitine and lipoic acid during aging process decreased the incidence of these DNA damage, therefore suggesting that this feeding regimen inhibits the accumulation of age-associated oxidative DNA damage.

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