L-Carnitine supplement reduces skeletal muscle atrophy induced by prolonged hindlimb suspension in rats

Jiwoong Jang, Jonghoon Park, Hyukki Chang, Kiwon Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


L-Carnitine was recently found to downregulate the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPP) and increase insulin-like growth factor 1 concentrations in animal models. However, the effect of L-carnitine administration on disuse muscle atrophy induced by hindlimb suspension has not yet been studied. Thus, we hypothesized that L-carnitine may have a protective effect on muscle atrophy induced by hindlimb suspension via the Akt1/mTOR and/or UPP. Male Wistar rats were assigned to 3 groups: hindlimb suspension group, hindlimb suspension with L-carnitine administration (1250 mg.kg-1.day-1) group, and pair-fed group adjusted hindlimb suspension. L-Carnitine administration for 2 weeks of hindlimb suspension alleviated the decrease in weight and fiber size in the soleus muscle. In addition, L-carnitine suppressed atrogin-1 mRNA expression, which has been reported to play a pivotal role in muscle atrophy. The present study shows that L-carnitine has a protective effect against soleus muscle atrophy caused by hindlimb suspension and decreased E3 ligase messenger RNA expression, suggesting the possibility that L-carnitine protects against muscle atrophy, at least in part, through the inhibition of the UPP. These observations suggest that L-carnitine could serve as an effective supplement in the decrease of muscle atrophy caused by weightlessness in the fields of clinical and rehabilitative research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1247
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved.


  • Catabolic condition
  • Hindlimb suspension
  • L-carnitine
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle-specific ubiquitin E3 ligases
  • Weightless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'L-Carnitine supplement reduces skeletal muscle atrophy induced by prolonged hindlimb suspension in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this