Potential therapeutic role of L-carnitine in skeletal muscle oxidative stress and atrophy conditions

Anna Montesano, Pamela Senesi, Livio Luzi, Stefano Benedini, Ileana Terruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The targeting of nutraceutical treatment to skeletal muscle damage is an emerging area of research, driven by the need for new therapies for a range of muscle-associated diseases. L-Carnitine (CARN) is an essential nutrient and plays a key role in mitochondrial β-oxidation and in the ubiquitin-proteasome system regulation. As a dietary supplement to improve athletic performance, CARN has been studied for its potential to enhance β-oxidation. However, CARN effects on myogenesis, mitochondrial activity, and hypertrophy process are not completely elucidated. This in vitro study aims to investigate CARN role on skeletal muscle remodeling, differentiation process, and myotubes formation. We analyzed muscle differentiation and morphological features in C2C12 myoblasts exposed to 5 mM CARN. Our results showed that CARN was able to accelerate C2C12 myotubes formation and induce morphological changes, characterizing the start of hypertrophy process. In addition, CARN improved AKT activation and downstream cellular signaling pathways involved in skeletal muscle atrophy process prevention. Also, CARN positively regulated the pathways involved in oxidative stress defense. In this work, we provide an interesting novel mechanism of the potential therapeutic use of CARN to treat pathological conditions characterized by skeletal muscle morphological and functional impairment, oxidative stress production, and atrophy process in aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number646171
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry

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