L-Carnitine improves cognitive and renal functions in a rat model of chronic kidney disease

Nur Abu Ahmad, Zaher Armaly, Sylvia Berman, Adel Jabour, Shlomit Aga-Mizrachi, Efrat Mosenego-Ornan, Avi Avital

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past decade, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has reached epidemic proportions. The search for novel pharmacological treatment for CKD has become an area of intensive clinical research.l-Carnitine, considered as the "gatekeeper" responsible for admitting long chain fatty acids into cell mitochondria. l-Carnitine synthesis and turnover are regulated mainly by the kidney and its levels inversely correlate with serum creatinine of normal subjects and CKD patients.Previous studies showed that l-carnitine administration to elderly people is improving and preserving cognitive function. As yet, there are no clinical intervention studies that investigated the effect of l-carnitine administration on cognitive impairment evidenced in CKD patients.Thus, we aimed to investigate the effects of l-carnitine treatment on renal function and on the cognitive performance in a rat model of progressive CKD.To assess the role of l-carnitine on CKD condition, we estimated the renal function and cognitive abilities in a CKD rat model.We found that all CKD animals exhibited renal function deterioration, as indicated by elevated serum creatinine, BUN, and ample histopathological abnormalities. l-Carnitine treatment of CKD rats significantly reduced serum creatinine and BUN, attenuated renal hypertrophy and decreased renal tissue damage.In addition, in the two way shuttle avoidance learning, CKD animals showed cognitive impairment which recovered by the administration of l-carnitine.We conclude that in a rat model of CKD, l-carnitine administration significantly improved cognitive and renal functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc..


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Cognitive performance
  • L-Carnitine
  • Rat model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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