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Acta Diabetol. 2007 Jun;44(2):83-90. Epub 2007 May 27.

L-Carnitine inhibits protein glycation in vitro and in vivo: evidence for a role in diabetic management.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India,


Glycation-initiated changes in tissue proteins are suggested to play an important role in the development of diabetes-related pathological changes. The purpose of this study was to examine the anti-glycating effect of L-carnitine (CA) in vivo in the high-fructose diet-fed rat and to determine the potential of CA to inhibit in vitro glycation. Additionally the glucose-disposal efficiency of CA in the rat diaphragm was investigated. High-fructose diet (60 g/100 g diet)-fed rats were treated with CA (300 mg/kg/day i.p.) for 60 days. The effect of CA on glucose, fructose and fructosamine in plasma, methyl glyoxal and glycated haemoglobin in whole blood and skin and tail tendon collagen glycation were determined. The inhibitory effect of CA on the glycation of bovine serum albumin in vitro was compared with that of aminoguanidine (AG), a known antiglycation agent. Glucose utilisation induced by insulin in the control rat diaphragm was monitored in the presence and absence of CA. High-fructose feeding induced hyperglycaemia and glycation of haemoglobin and skin and tail tendon collagen. In CA-administered fructose-fed rats glycation was significantly reduced. In vitro glycation and accumulation of advanced glycation end products were mitigated by CA. CA was more effective than AG in inhibiting glycation in vitro. CA also enhanced the utilisation of glucose in the rat diaphragm. The findings of the study reveal that CA not only has antiglycation effect but also enhances glucose disposal in the rat diaphragm. These findings provide evidence for the therapeutic utility of CA in diabetes and associated complications.

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