Peritoneal macrophages function modulation by L-carnitine in aging rats
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Background and aims: The aging process is associated with a progressive decline in physiological functions involving immune response in most species. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of L-carnitine on impaired macrophages function in aged rats. Methods: Superoxide anion production, chemotaxis and phagocytic activity were studied in peritoneal macrophages obtained from young (2 months old) and aged (24 months old) rats. L-carnitine (50 mg/kg bw) or control vehicle was orally gavaged into young and aged rats for 30 consecutive days. Results: The peritoneal macrophages of the aged rats exhibited an increase in superoxide anion generation and a decline in chemotaxis and phagocytic index by comparison with the young rats. Superoxide anion production in aged rats was significantly reduced by L-carnitine treatment, as accompanied by a significant enhancement of chemotactic activity, which was restored to control levels observed in young rats. The age-related reduction in phagocytic index was only slightly, but not significantly, restored by L-carnitine administration, however. Conclusion: The findings suggest that L-carnitine administration may be useful in reversing some age-related changes.
Key WordsAging macrophages phagocytosis superoxide anion
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