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Int J Tissue React. 1994;16(3):121-9.

Protection of beta-thalassaemic erythrocytes from oxidative stress by propionyl carnitine.

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Institute of Biological Chemistry, University of Pisa, Italy.


Susceptibility to oxidative stress is increased in erythrocytes of patients with beta-thalassaemia due to the free alpha-chain pool and to the excess of iron. We have investigated the effect of L-propionylcarnitine concentrations on oxidative stress determined by lactoperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-iodide and by xanthine oxidase-acetaldehyde on erythrocytes of patients with beta-thalassaemia (major and intermedia). L-propionyl carnitine protects the erythrocytes from oxidative stress as measured by cell lysis. The protection is concentration-dependent. L-propionyl carnitine also stabilizes the cell membranes in which a latent peroxidative damage has been produced. These data suggest that L-propionyl carnitine may prove beneficial in protecting in vivo patients in which peroxidative damage of cell structure is increased as in the case of beta-thalassaemic patients.

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