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JOURNAL ARTICLE

L-Carnitine Supplementation Improves Self-Rating Depression Scale Scores in Uremic Male Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis

Kyoko Tashiro, Yusuke Kaida, Sho-Ichi Yamagishi, Hideharu Tanaka, Miyuki Yokoro, Junko Yano, Kazuko Sakai, Yuka Kurokawa, Kensei Taguchi, Yosuke Nakayama, Takahiro Inokuchi, Kei Fukami
Letters in Drug Design & Discovery 2017, 14 (6): 737-742
28670223

BACKGROUND: Depression is highly prevalent in uremic patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). We previously found that low free-carnitine levels are associated with depression severity in male patients undergoing HD. However, whether L-carnitine supplementation improves the depression state in male patients undergoing HD remains unclear.

METHODS: Sixteen male patients undergoing HD were orally administered 900 mg L-carnitine daily or intravenously administered 1000 mg L-carnitine immediately after undergoing HD for 3 months. The depression state and various types of carnitine levels were evaluated using the self-rating depression scale (SDS) and tandem mass spectrometry, respectively, at baseline and 3 months after treatment.

RESULTS: L-carnitine supplementation significantly increased serum levels of free and other acylcarnitine types, associated with improved SDS scores in male patients undergoing HD. Univariate analysis revealed that low baseline butyryl- and isovaleryl-/2-methylbutyryl-carnitine levels were significantly correlated with SDS scores after treatment. Multiple regression analysis revealed that butyryl-carnitine levels were a sole independent predictor of SDS scores after treatment (r2 = 0.533).

CONCLUSION: L-carnitine supplementation for 3 months improved the depression state in uremic male patients undergoing HD. Thus, low butyryl-carnitine levels may predict the clinical response to L-carnitine supplementation in male patients undergoing HD and who have mild depression.

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