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Carnitine metabolism in the vitamin B-12-deficient rat.


ABSTRACT: In vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) deficiency the metabolism of propionyl-CoA and methylmalonyl-CoA are inhibited secondarily to decreased L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase activity. Production of acylcarnitines provides a mechanism for removing acyl groups and liberating CoA under conditions of impaired acyl-CoA utilization. Carnitine metabolism was studied in the vitamin B-12-deficient rat to define the relationship between alterations in acylcarnitine generation and the development of methylmalonic aciduria. Urinary excretion of methylmalonic acid was increased 200-fold in vitamin B-12-deficient rats as compared with controls. Urinary acylcarnitine excretion was increased in the vitamin B-12-deficient animals by 70%. This increase in urinary acylcarnitine excretion correlated with the degree of metabolic impairment as measured by the urinary methylmalonic acid elimination. Urinary propionylcarnitine excretion averaged 11 nmol/day in control rats and 120 nmol/day in the vitamin B-12-deficient group. The fraction of total carnitine present as short-chain acylcarnitines in the plasma and liver of vitamin B-12-deficient rats was increased as compared with controls. When the rats were fasted for 48 h, relative or absolute increases were seen in the urine, plasma, liver and skeletal-muscle acylcarnitine content of the vitamin B-12-deficient rats as compared with controls. Thus vitamin B-12 deficiency was associated with a redistribution of carnitine towards acylcarnitines. Propionylcarnitine was a significant constituent of the acylcarnitine pool in the vitamin B-12-deficient animals. The changes in carnitine metabolism were consistent with the changes in CoA metabolism known to occur with vitamin B-12 deficiency. The vitamin B-12-deficient rat provides a model system for studying carnitine metabolism in the methylmalonic acidurias.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1135203 | BioStudies | 1988-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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