Dynamic adaptive changes of the serum carnitine esters during and after L-carnitine supplementation in patients with maintenance haemodialysis

Judit Bene, Botond Csiky, Katalin Komlosi, Endre Sulyok, Bela Melegh
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 2011, 71 (4): 280-6

BACKGROUND: Here we report the serum carnitine ester profile during and after 1g iv/day L-carnitine supplementation in haemodialysis patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seven patients were studied over 29 weeks. After a control day, 12 weeks of replacement therapy was introduced followed by 17 weeks of washout period. The serum acylcarnitine concentrations were determined by isotope dilution ESI MS/MS technique.

RESULTS: At baseline significantly decreased free carnitine (48%, p < 0.01) and a 1.5-16-fold elevation of 16 out of 27 acylcarnitines were detected in HD patients compared with the controls. On the last day of L-carnitine supplementation a 1.6-4.8-fold increase was observed in the acylcarnitine levels compared with day 0; the increase-profile was achieved in four different patterns. The increase rate was rapid and early saturable for C5, C5OH, C6DC, C8:1, C10DC and C18:2 esters, slower for C2, C4, C6, C18 and C18:1 esters, it was slowest and reached a late plateau for C3, C8DC, C14:2, C16 and C16:1, and finally almost gradual increase was seen for 11 acylcarnitines. Three months after the cessation of carnitine treatment marked concentration drops were found for almost all acylcarnitines (by 11-74 % of week 12, p < 0.05); the values further decreased over the five remaining weeks of the observation period.

CONCLUSION: Carnitine administration affected the levels of circulating esters in different dynamics and kinetics suggesting a regulated, non-random adaptive reallocation of nutrients. A considerable washout was achieved 3 months after discontinuation of the supplementation; however, the profile still was suggestive for presence of rest of accumulated supplement.

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