Carnitine Deficiency Aggravates Cyclophosphamide-Induced cardiotoxicity in Rats

Journal Article
Fatani, Amal J. . 2010
Publication Work Type
Magazine \ Newspaper
Volume Number
Publication Abstract


This study examined, for the first time, the involvement of carnitine deficiency in cardiotoxicity, particularly cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced cardiomyopathy, as well as effects of carnitine supplementation with propionyl-L-carnitine (PLC) on cardiotoxicity.


An animal model of carnitine deficiency was developed in rats treated with D-carnitine (DC)-mildronate (MD). Adult male Wistar albino rats were assigned to one of six treatment groups: the first three groups were injected intraperitoneally with normal saline, PLC (250 mg/kg/day), and DC (250 mg/kg/day) combined with MD (200 mg/kg/day), respectively, for 10 successive days. In groups 4-6, the same doses of normal saline, PLC and DC-MD were injected, respectively, during the 5 successive days before and after a single dose of CP (200 mg/kg). On day 6 after CP treatment, 24-hour urine was collected, then animals were sacrificed, and serum as well as hearts were isolated.


CP caused a significant increase in serum creatine phosphokinase isoenzyme (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), urinary carnitine excretion and clearance and intramitochondrial acetyl-CoA/CoA-SH, and a significant decrease in serum free carnitine, total carnitine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) contents in cardiac tissue. In the carnitine-depleted rats, CP induced dramatic increases in CK-MB and LDH levels, carnitine clearance and intramitochondrial acetyl-CoA/CoA-SH, as well as progressive reduction in total carnitine and ATP in cardiac tissues. Interestingly, PLC supplementation completely reversed the biochemical and histopathological changes induced by CP to the control values.


(1) Carnitine deficiency is a risk factor which is involved in CP-related cardiomyopathy; (2) serum and urinary carnitine levels should be monitored and viewed as indices of CP-induced multiple organ toxicity, and (3) carnitine supplementation, using PLC, prevents the development of CP-induced cardiotoxicity.