L-carnitine may attenuate free fatty acid-induced endothelial dysfunction

Sudha S. Shankar, Bahram Mirzamohammadi, James P. Walsh, Helmut Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have recently shown that elevated levels of free fatty acid (FFA) seen in insulin-resistant obese subjects are associated with endothelial dysfunction. L-Carnitine, which is required for mitochondrial FFA transport/oxidation, has been reported to improve vascular function in subjects with diabetes and heart disease. Here, we tested the hypothesis that L-carnitine attenuates FFA-induced endothelial dysfunction. We studied leg blood flow (LBF) responses and leg vascular resistance (LVR) to graded intrafemoral artery infusions of the endothelium-dependent vasodilator, methacholine chloride (MCh). A group (n = 7) of normal lean subjects was studied under basal conditions (saline), after 2 h of FFA elevation (FFA), and then after 2 h of superimposing L-carnitine on FFA elevation. FFA elevation caused the maximal LBF increment in response to MCh to decrease from 0.388 ± 0.08 to 0.212 ± 0.071 L/min (P < 0.05). Similarly, FFA blunted the maximum decrease in LVR in response to MCh from -315 ± 41 U to -105 ± 46 U (P < 0.05). The superimposed L-carnitine restored the LBF increment in response to MCh to 0.488 ± 0.088 L/min (P < 0.05 vs. FFA) and the maximum fall in LVR to -287 ± 75 U (P < 0.05 vs. FFA), indicating that L-carnitine elevation may attenuate FFA-induced endothelial dysfunction. In conclusion, our data suggest that increasing L-carnitine levels may improve FFA-induced and obesity-associated endothelial dysfunction. This improved endothelial function may delay or prevent the development of excess cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1033
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Carnitine
Nonesterified Fatty Acids
Leg
Methacholine Chloride
Vascular Resistance
Blood
Fatty Acids
Endothelium-Dependent Relaxing Factors
Medical problems
Blood Vessels
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Arteries
Obesity
Insulin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

L-carnitine may attenuate free fatty acid-induced endothelial dysfunction. / Shankar, Sudha S.; Mirzamohammadi, Bahram; Walsh, James P.; Steinberg, Helmut.

In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1033, 01.01.2004, p. 189-197.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shankar, Sudha S. ; Mirzamohammadi, Bahram ; Walsh, James P. ; Steinberg, Helmut. / L-carnitine may attenuate free fatty acid-induced endothelial dysfunction. In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2004 ; Vol. 1033. pp. 189-197.
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