Reduced effects of L-carnitine on glucose and fatty acid metabolism in myocytes isolated from diabetic rats.


Journal Article

Depressed glucose utilization and over-reliance of muscle tissues on fat represents a major metabolic disturbance in diabetes. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between fatty acid oxidation and glucose utilization in diabetic hearts and to examine the role of L-Carnitine on the utilization of these substrates in diabetes. 14CO2 release from [1-14C]pyruvate (an index of PDH activity), [2-14C]pyruvate and [6-14C]glucose (an index of acetyl-CoA flux through the Krebs cycle), [U-14C]glucose (an index of both PDH and acetyl-CoA flux through the Krebs cycle), and [1-14C]palmitate oxidation were studied in cardiac myocystes isolated from normal and streptozotocin-injected rats. Palmitate oxidation was increased twofold in diabetic myocytes compared to normal cells (5.4 +/- 1.45 vs 2.35 +/- 0.055 nmol/mg protein/30 min, p > 0.05). L-Carnitine (5 mM) significantly increased palmitate oxidation (60-70%) in normal cells but had no effect on diabetic cells. The activity of PDH and acetyl-CoA flux through the Krebs cycle was severely depressed in diabetes (58.14 +/- 20.27 and 8.63 +/- 0.62 in diabetes vs 128.75 +/- 11.47 and 24.84 +/- 7.81 nmol/mg protein/30 min in controls, p > 0.05, respectively). The efflux of acetylcarnitine, a by-product of PDH activity was also much lower in diabetic cells than in normal cells but had no effect in diabetes. L-Carnitine also had no effect on 14CO2 release from [U-14C]glucose but significantly decreased that from [6-14C]glucose, which reflects oxidative metabolism suggesting that L-Carnitine decreases oxidative glucose utilization. Thus, these data suggest that the overreliance on fat in diabetes may be in part secondary to a reduction of carbohydrate-generated acetyl-CoA through the Krebs cycle.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Abdel-aleem, S; Karim, AM; Zarouk, WA; Taylor, DA; el-Awady, MK; Lowe, JE

Published Date

  • September 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 430 - 435

PubMed ID

  • 9370110

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9370110

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1439-4286

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-5043

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1055/s-2007-979071


  • eng