Effect of Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Antioxidant Status, Lipid Peroxidation, and Oxidative Damage of Arsenic in Rat

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 May;171(1):107-15. doi: 10.1007/s12011-015-0436-y. Epub 2015 Sep 9.


Arsenic (As) is a widespread environmental contaminant present around the world in both organic and inorganic forms. Oxidative stress is postulated as the main mechanism for As-induced toxicity. This study was planned to examine the protective effect of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) on As-induced oxidative damage in male rats. Animals were randomly divided into four groups of control (saline), sodium arsenite (NaAsO2, 20 mg/kg), ALC (300 mg/kg), and NaAsO2 plus ALC. Animals were dosed orally for 28 successive days. Blood and tissue samples including kidney, brain, liver, heart, and lung were collected on the 28th day and evaluated for oxidative damage and histological changes. NaAsO2 exposure caused a significant lipid peroxidation as evidenced by elevation in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). The activity of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), as well as sulfhydryl group content (SH group) was significantly suppressed in various organs following NaAsO2 treatment (P < 0.05). Furthermore, NaAsO2 administration increased serum values of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and bilirubin. Our findings revealed that co-administration of ALC and NaAsO2 significantly suppressed the oxidative damage induced by NaAsO2. Tissue histological studies have confirmed the biochemical findings and provided evidence for the beneficial role of ALC. The results concluded that ALC attenuated NaAsO2-induced toxicity, and this protective effect may result from the ability of ALC in maintaining oxidant-antioxidant balance.

Keywords: Acetyl-L-carnitine; Antioxidants; Arsenic; Lipid peroxidation; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcarnitine / administration & dosage
  • Acetylcarnitine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Arsenites / administration & dosage
  • Arsenites / pharmacology
  • Arsenites / toxicity*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Sodium Compounds / toxicity*


  • Antioxidants
  • Arsenites
  • Sodium Compounds
  • sodium arsenite
  • Acetylcarnitine