Carnitine supplementation improves myocardial function in hearts from ischemic diabetic and euglycemic rats

V. Antoine Keller, Bruce Toporoff, Randall M. Raziano, John D. Pigott, Noel L. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background. Nonischemic myocardial dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus appears to be attenuated with long-term L-carnitine therapy. The effect of acute L-carnitine supplementation on rat hearts from euglycemic and diabetic animals subjected to ischemia and reperfusion is investigated in this study. Methods. Study rats had diabetes mellitus induced by streptozocin (65 mg/kg intraperitoneally), and control rats had injection of saline solution (n = 12 per group). About 1 month later, the hearts were suspended on a Langendorff apparatus and perfused with either standard buffered Krebs- Henseleit solution or this standard solution supplemented with L-carnitine (5 mmol/L). After stabilization, normothermic, zero-flow ischemia was instituted for 20 minutes followed by 60 minutes of reperfusion. There were four study groups (n = 6 per group): hearts that were from euglycemic rats and that were perfused with standard buffered Krebs-Henseleit solution (E-STD); hearts that were from diabetic animals and that were perfused with the same standard buffered solution (DM-STD); hearts taken from diabetic animals and perfused with L-carnitine-enriched solution (DMCAR); and hearts taken from euglycemic rats and perfused with the enriched solution (E-CAR). Results. At 60 minutes of reperfusion, left ventricular developed pressure was significantly better in hearts from both groups (diabetic and euglycemic) with carnitine supplementation (DM-CAR versus DM-STD and E-CAR versus E-STD, p < 0.01 for both, by analysis of variance). Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was significantly lower in the DM-CAR group compared with all other groups (p < 0.01 by analysis of variance). Conclusions. These findings suggest that acute L-carnitine supplementation significantly improves the recovery of the ischemic myocardium in diabetic and euglycemic rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1600-1603
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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