Carnitine Deficiency: A Causative Clue or a Sequel in Carboplatin Myelosuppression


  • Hossam M.M. Arafa Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, MTI University
  • Raed S. Ismail Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University;
  • Nesreen Nabil Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, MTI University;
  • Adel M. Mostafa Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helwan University, Cairo-Egypt



Carboplatin, Carnitine, Myelosuppression, Micronucleus Assay, TNF-α, ATP Mitochondrial membrane potential.


 We have previously demonstrated that carnitine deficiency aggravated paracetamol-induced hepatopathy and carboplatin-induced nephropathy. As a continuum, we have addressed in the current study as to whether carboplatin-induced myelosuppression would be exacerbated by carnitine deficiency. Challenging male Wistar rats with a single dose of carboplatin (35 mg/kg, IP) induced bone marrow suppression manifested as anemia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia as well as increased frequencies of the micronucleated bone marrow cells; MPCE and MNCE with notable reduction in the P/N ratio. The platinum drug also elevated serum TNF-a and reduced serum free and total carnitine levels. Besides, ATP levels in red and T cells were lowered. Likewise, the mitochondrial membrane potential in T lymphocytes was reduced following the use of the potentiometric dye; JC-1, and this was well correlated with cellular ATP production. Carnitine deficiency exacerbated carboplatin myelotoxicity as it exaggerated all biochemical, hematological and cytogenetic parameters. To address as to whether carnitine deficiency was a causative clue or merely a sequel of carboplatin myelotoxicity, L-carnitine was supplemented ahead of carboplatin challenege. Herein, L-carnitine mitigated all the biochemical, hematological and cytogenetic effects possibly via modulating the release of TNF-a, cellular ATP production and restoring the mitochondrial membrane potential. Irrespective of the mechanisms involved, the current results may afford the potential role for carnitine supplementation as add-on nutraceutical in carboplatin-based chemotherapy.


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How to Cite

Hossam M.M. Arafa, Raed S. Ismail, Nesreen Nabil, & Adel M. Mostafa. (2014). Carnitine Deficiency: A Causative Clue or a Sequel in Carboplatin Myelosuppression. Journal of Cancer Research Updates, 3(4),  226–235.