Acetyl-L-carnitine shows neuroprotective and neurotrophic activity in primary culture of rat embryo motoneurons

P. Bigini, S. Larini, C. Pasquali, V. Muzio, T. Mennini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluated the role of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) in protecting primary motoneuron cultures exposed to excitotoxic agents or serum-brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) deprived. To exclude that ALCAR works as a metabolic source, we compared its effects with those of L-carnitine (L-CAR), that seems to have no neurotrophic effect. A concentration of 10 mM ALCAR, but not L-CAR, significantly reduced the toxic effect of 50 μM N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA, % viability: NMDA 45.4 ± 2.80, NMDA + ALCAR 90.8 ± 11.8; P <0.01) and of 5 μM kainate in cultured motoneurons (% viability: kainate 40.66 ± 10.73; kainate + ALCAR 63.80 ± 13.88; P <0.05). The effect was due to a shift to the right of the dose-response curve for kainate (EC50 for kainate 5.99 ± 1.012 μM; kainate + ALCAR 8.62 ± 1.13 μM; P <0.05). ALCAR, but not L-CAR, significantly protected against BDNF and serum-deprivation reducing the apoptotic cell death (% viability respect to control: without BDNF/serum 61.8 ± 13.3: without BDNF/serum + ALCAR 111.8 ± 13.9; P <0.01). Immunocytochemistry showed an increase in choline acethyltransferase and tyrosine kinaseB receptors in motoneurons treated with ALCAR but not with L-CAR. These results suggest that ALCAR treatment improves the motoneurons activity, acting as a neurotrophic factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-338
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume329
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 6 2002

Fingerprint

Acetylcarnitine
Motor Neurons
Embryonic Structures
Kainic Acid
Carnitine
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
N-Methylaspartate
Serum
Poisons
Nerve Growth Factors
Choline
Cell Survival
Cell Death
Immunohistochemistry

Keywords

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Choline acetyltransferase
  • Rat embryo motoneurons
  • Tyrosine kinase receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Acetyl-L-carnitine shows neuroprotective and neurotrophic activity in primary culture of rat embryo motoneurons. / Bigini, P.; Larini, S.; Pasquali, C.; Muzio, V.; Mennini, T.

In: Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 329, No. 3, 06.09.2002, p. 334-338.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bigini, P. ; Larini, S. ; Pasquali, C. ; Muzio, V. ; Mennini, T. / Acetyl-L-carnitine shows neuroprotective and neurotrophic activity in primary culture of rat embryo motoneurons. In: Neuroscience Letters. 2002 ; Vol. 329, No. 3. pp. 334-338.
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