Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on the formation of fatty acid ethyl esters in brain and peripheral organs after short-term ethanol administration in rat.


Calabrese V, Scapagnini G, Catalano C, Dinotta F, Bates TE, Calvani M, Stella AM.




Neurochem Res


Increasing evidence suggests that Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) play a central role in ethanol induced organ damage. In the current study we measured FAEE formation in rats after short-term oral administration of ethanol, in the presence and absence of pre-treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine. Ethanol treatment caused a significant increase in the levels of FAEE, particularly in the brain and heart, but also in the kidney and liver. Increases in FAEE were associated with a significant increase in FAEE synthase activity, GSH transferase activity, and lipid hydroperoxide levels. Pretreatment with acetyl-L-carnitine resulted in a significant reduction of FAEE accumulation, decrease in FAEE synthase and GSH transferase activities, and lipid hydroperoxide levels. Administration of acetyl-L-carnitine greatly reduced the metabolic abnormalities due to non-oxidative ethanol metabolism, through an increment in lipid metabolism/turnover and by the modulation of the activities of enzymes associated with FAEE synthesis. These results suggest a potentially important pharmacological role for acetyl-L-carnitine in the prevention of alcohol-induced cellular damage.