Pre-exercise Medium-Chain Triglyceride Application Prevents Acylcarnitine Accumulation in Skeletal Muscle From Very-Long-Chain acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase-deficient Mice

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2010 Jun;33(3):237-46. doi: 10.1007/s10545-010-9105-7. Epub 2010 May 6.


Dietary modification with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) supplementation is one crucial way of treating children with long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders. Recently, supplementation prior to exercise has been reported to prevent muscular pain and rhabdomyolysis. Systematic studies to determine when MCT supplementation is most beneficial have not yet been undertaken. We studied the effects of an MCT-based diet compared with MCT administration only prior to exercise in very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) knockout (KO) mice. VLCAD KO mice were fed an MCT-based diet in same amounts as normal mouse diet containing long-chain triglycerides (LCT) and were exercised on a treadmill. Mice fed a normal LCT diet received MCT only prior to exercise. Acylcarnitine concentration, free carnitine concentration, and acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) oxidation capacity in skeletal muscle as well as hepatic lipid accumulation were determined. Long-chain acylcarnitines significantly increased in VLCAD-deficient skeletal muscle with an MCT diet compared with an LCT diet with MCT bolus prior to exercise, whereas an MCT bolus treatment significantly decreased long-chain acylcarnitines after exercise compared with an LCT diet. C8-carnitine was significantly increased in skeletal muscle after MCT bolus treatment and exercise compared with LCT and long-term MCT treatment. Increased hepatic lipid accumulation was observed in long-term MCT-treated KO mice. MCT seems most beneficial when given in a single dose directly prior to exercise to prevent acylcarnitine accumulation. In contrast, continuous MCT treatment produces a higher skeletal muscle content of long-chain acylcarnitines after exercise and increases hepatic lipid storage in VLCAD KO mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase, Long-Chain / deficiency*
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase, Long-Chain / genetics*
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Carnitine / analogs & derivatives
  • Carnitine / metabolism
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxazines / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Triglycerides / metabolism*


  • Acyl Coenzyme A
  • Lipids
  • Oxazines
  • Triglycerides
  • acylcarnitine
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase, Long-Chain
  • nile red
  • Carnitine
  • Oxygen