Protective role of carnitine esters against alcohol-induced gastric lesions in rats

Hossam M M Arafa, Mohamed M Sayed-Ahmed
Pharmacological Research: the Official Journal of the Italian Pharmacological Society 2003, 48 (3): 285-90
We have investigated in the current study the possible protective effects of two carnitine esters known to have powerful anti-oxidant potential namely, propionyl L-carnitine (PLC) and acetyl L-carnitine (AC) against alcohol-induced gastric lesions in rats. Both drugs were administered as a single oral dose of 200 mg kg(-1) body weight 1h before alcohol intake. Both carnitine esters could protect the gastric mucosa against the injurious effect of absolute alcohol and promote ulcer healing as evidenced from the ulcer index (UI) values. Propionyl L-carnitine prevented alcohol-induced increase in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), an index of lipid peroxidation. The propionyl carnitine ester also increased the gastric content of reduced glutathione (GSH), besides it increased the enzymatic activities of gastric superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Likewise, AC did protect against the ulcerating effect of alcohol and mitigate most of the biochemical adverse effects induced by alcohol in gastric mucosa, but to a lesser extent than PLC. Neither PLC nor AC did affect catalase activity in gastric tissue. Based on these observations, one could conclude that carnitine esters, particularly PLC could partly protect gastric mucosa from alcohol-induced acute mucosal injury, and these gastroprotective effects might be probably induced, at least partly, through anti-oxidant mechanisms.

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