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Am J Nephrol. 1998;18(5):355-8.

Effect of L-carnitine and palmitoyl-L-carnitine on erythroid colony formation in fetal mouse liver cell culture.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan.


The administration of L-carnitine to patients undergoing hemodialysis increases hematocrit and improves the response to recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO). This suggests a contribution by carnitine to erythrocyte membrane function or erythropoiesis. We investigated the effect of L-carnitine and palmitoyl-L-carnitine on erythropoiesis by assessing erythroid colony formation in in vitro fetal mouse liver cell cultures. L-Carnitine or palmitoyl-L-carnitine was added with rhEPO to fetal mouse liver cell cultures. Doses of L-carnitine of up to 200 micromol/l to the culture had no effect on colony formation. In contrast, the addition of above 12.5 micromol/l palmitoyl-L-carnitine into the culture increased colony formation significantly. These results suggest that long-chain acyl carnitine may have an effect on erythropoiesis.

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