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Korean J Pediatr 2012 July;55(7) :238-248.
Published online 2012 July 15.        doi:
Neuroprotective effects of L-carnitine against oxygenglucose deprivation in rat primary cortical neurons
Yu Jin Kim (Kim YJ)1, Soo Yoon Kim (Kim SY)2, Dong Kyung Sung (Sung DK)2, Yun Sil Chang (Chang YS)1, Won Soon Park (Park WS)1
1Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Samsung Biochemical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: Yun Sil Chang ,Tel: +82-2-3410-3539, Fax: +82-2-3410-0043, Email:
Copyright © 2012 by The Korean Pediatric Society
Purpose: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is an important cause of neonatal mortality, as this brain injury disrupts normal mitochondrial respiratory activity. Carnitine plays an essential role in mitochondrial fatty acid transport and modulates excess acyl coenzyme A levels. In this study, we investigated whether treatment of primary cultures of rat cortical neurons with L-carnitine was able to prevent neurotoxicity resulting from oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Methods: Cortical neurons were prepared from Sprague-Dawley rat embryos. L-Carnitine was applied to cultures just prior to OGD and subsequent reoxygenation. The numbers of cells that stained with acridine orange (AO) and propidium iodide (PI) were counted, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and the terminal uridine deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling assay were performed to evaluate the effect of L-carnitine (1 M, 10 M, and 100 M) on OGD-induced neurotoxicity. Results: Treatment of primary cultures of rat cortical neurons with L-carnitine significantly reduced cell necrosis and prevented apoptosis after OGD. L-Carnitine application significantly reduced the number of cells that died, as assessed by the PI/AO ratio, and also reduced ROS release in the OGD groups treated with 10 M and 100 M of L-carnitine compared with the untreated OGD group (P<0.05). The application of L-carnitine at 100 M significantly decreased cytotoxicity, LDH release, and inhibited apoptosis compared to the untreated OGD group (P<0.05). Conclusion: L-Carnitine has neuroprotective benefits against OGD in rat primary cortical neurons in vitro.
Keywords: L-carnitine | Neuroprotective effect | Oxygen-glucose deprivation | Neurons | Hypoxia-Ischemia
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