Articles

Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on ethanol consumption and alcohol abstinence syndrome in rats.

Author

Mangano NG, Clementi G, Costantino G, Calvani M, Matera M.

Date

2000

Journal

Drugs Exp Clin Res

Abstract

The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on alcohol consumption and its possible ability to alleviate all symptomatology of ethanol withdrawal syndrome has been investigated in rats. Alcohol-dependence was induced in animals (9-15 g/kg ethanol solution at 20% for a period of 4 days) in order to measure the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on ethanol abstinence syndrome. The ethanol dependence phase was characterized by the onset of signs and responses of progressive severity: hyperactivity, tremors, spastic rigidity and spontaneous convulsive seizures. After 4 days, 8 h after the last ethanol administration, two groups of animals received acetyl-L-carnitine (125 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg intraperitoneally, respectively) and the intensity of the withdrawal syndrome was assessed on the basis of the appearance of tremors. The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine on voluntary alcohol consumption was investigated in a rat line selected for innate ethanol preference. For 15 days the animals could freely choose both water and/or a hydroalcoholic solution (10% p:v). Acetyl-L-carnitine was given intraperitoneally at a dose of 200 mg/kg twice daily. The water and the hydroalcoholic solution levels were checked at the same time daily. Acetyl-L-carnitine treatment significantly reduced the onset of tremors in ethanol withdrawal syndrome as well as the level of ethanol intake in alcohol-preferring rats. These results suggest a possible pharmacological role of acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of alcohol dependence.