Effect of L-Carnitine on Activity of Liver Alcohol Dehydrogenase in Diabetic Rats

Authors: Metin YILDIRIMKAYA, Kurtuluş YILMAZ, Oğuzhan YILDIZ, Metin ÖZATA, Muhsin KONUK, Türker KUTLUAY

Abstract: Supplementary L-carnitine attenuates ethanol metabolism in rats and thus offers protection to animals against ethanol-induced lipid abnormalities by decreasing the load of ethanol-derived metabolites on the liver. Experimental diabetes increases ethanol metabolism in rats by affecting the activity of liver alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). L-carnitine has been used for treatment of diabetic neuropathy in humans. We have therefore evaluated the effect of L-carnitine on the activity of liver ADH in Wistar diabetic male rats. Two groups (n=5) of rats were rendered diabetic with alloxan (75 mg/kg) and L-carnitine (200 mg/kg day, i.p.) was given to diabetic rats starting fom the 3rd week after the induction of diabetes and lasting for 4 weeks. A third groups of rats (n=5) which was not diabetic and not supplemented with L-carnitine served as controls. The activity of ADH was determined by an enzymatic method. Liver ADH activity in diabetic rats (25±1.9 U/g protein) was significantly higher (p<0.05) by about 30% as compared with the L-carnitine supplemented diabetic group (18+-1.9 U/g protein) or control group (17+-1.6 U/g protein). Since the activity of ADH may be affected by hormonal status, we measured the serum levels of testosterone levels (p<0.01, respectively), but not in growth hormone levels was observed in all diabetic rats. However, there were no correlations between ADH activity and hormone level studied. We cocluded that supplementary L-carnitine decreases the diabetes induced activity of ADH and may therefore have beneficial effects on ethanol-induced lipid-abnormalities in the liver.

Keywords: Alcohol dehydrogenase, diabetes, L-carnitine.