L-Carnitine suppresses oleic acid-induced membrane permeability transition of mitochondria.

Eri Oyanagi, Hiromi Yano, Yasuko Kato, Hirofumi Fujita, Kozo Utsumi, Junzo Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane permeability transition (MPT) of mitochondria has an important role in apoptosis of various cells. The classic type of MPT is characterized by increased Ca(2+) transport, membrane depolarization, swelling, and sensitivity to cyclosporin A. In this study, we investigated whether L-carnitine suppresses oleic acid-induced MPT using isolated mitochondria from rat liver. Oleic acid-induced MPT in isolated mitochondria, inhibited endogenous respiration, caused membrane depolarization, and increased large amplitude swelling, and cytochrome c (Cyt. c) release from mitochondria. L-Carnitine was indispensable to beta-oxidation of oleic acid in the mitochondria, and this reaction required ATP and coenzyme A (CoA). In the presence of ATP and CoA, L-carnitine stimulated oleic acid oxidation and suppressed the oleic acid-induced depolarization, swelling, and Cyt. c release. L-Carnitine also contributed to maintaining mitochondrial function, which was decreased by the generation of free fatty acids with the passage of time after isolation. These results suggest that L-carnitine acts to maintain mitochondrial function and suppresses oleic acid-mediated MPT through acceleration of beta-oxidation. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-786
Number of pages9
JournalCell biochemistry and function
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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