Acetyl-L-carnitine modulates glucose metabolism and stimulates glycogen synthesis in rat brain

Brain Res. 1998 Jun 15;796(1-2):75-81. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(98)00319-9.


The effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on cerebral glucose metabolism were investigated in rats injected with differently 14C- and 13C-labelled glucose and sacrificed after 15, 30, 45, and 60 min. Acetyl-L-carnitine was found to reduce total 14CO2 release from [U-14C]glucose along with the decrease in [1-13C]glucose incorporation into cerebral amino acids and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. However the 13C labelling pattern within different carbon positions of glutamate, glutamine, GABA, and aspartate was unaffected by acetyl-L-carnitine administration. Furthermore, the cerebral levels of newly-synthesized proglycogen were higher in rats treated with acetyl-L-carnitine than in untreated ones. These results suggest that acetyl-L-carnitine was able to modulate cerebral glucose utilization and provide new insights on the mechanisms of action of this molecule in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcarnitine / blood
  • Acetylcarnitine / physiology*
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycogen / biosynthesis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids
  • Acetylcarnitine
  • Glycogen
  • Glucose