Age-dependent decrease of carnitine content in muscle of mice and humans

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Jun 30;161(3):1135-43. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)91360-0.


Carnitine deficiency associated with impairment of muscle function has been described in infants and young adults as a result of inherited or acquired disease but there are no reports on carnitine levels in healthy aging people. In this paper we show a marked reduction of carnitine and its derivatives in muscle, and of long-chain acyl carnitine in heart of 6-month-old mice, when compared to animals of 6 weeks of age. Analysis of muscle samples of healthy humans of different ages showed a drastic reduction of carnitine and acetyl carnitine in the older subjects with a strong reverse correlation between age and carnitine levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcarnitine / metabolism
  • Acylation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Carnitine / blood
  • Carnitine / metabolism*
  • Carnitine O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Development*
  • Muscles / metabolism


  • Acetylcarnitine
  • Carnitine O-Acetyltransferase
  • Carnitine