L-carnitine supplementation and adipokines in patients with end-stage renal disease on regular hemodialysis

B Csiky, Z Nyul, G Tóth, I Wittmann, B Melegh, M Rauh, W Rascher, E Sulyok
Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 2010, 118 (10): 735-40
Chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients frequently encounter carnitine depletion, elevated adipose tissue-derived hormones/cytokines, that may contribute to accelerated arteriosclerosis. 10 non-diabetic HD patients were studied over 28 weeks. In the 12 weeks treatment period 1 g L-carnitine was given iv after each HD session. Measurements of plasma free- and acylcarnitines, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, resistin and ghrelin were performed at baseline, at weeks 2, 4, 8, 12 (treatment period) and at weeks 24-28 (post-treatment period). L-carnitine supplementation resulted in progressive increase of free- and acylcarnitine levels. Plasma levels of insulin, resistin, leptin and ghrelin remained at the already elevated baseline values. L-carnitine therapy induced a significant increase in plasma adiponectin from 20.2 ± 12.7 μg/ml (baseline) to 32.7 ± 20.2 μg/ml in week 2 (p<0.05) and 35.4 ± 19.6 μg/ml in week 12 (p < 0.03), which remained unchanged in the post-carnitine period. Plasma insulin levels correlated positively with leptin (r = 0.525, p<0.0001) and resistin (r = 0.284, p<0.005); adiponectin levels correlated inversely with leptin (r = -0.255, p<0.02) and resistin (r = -0.213, p<0.04) irrespective of carnitine status. Plasma levels of adipokines and related hormones are greatly elevated in patients on regular HD. L-carnitine administration further augmented the plasma levels of protective adiponectin, therefore it may have a role in preventing cardiovascular complications of uremia.

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