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Letters in Drug Design & Discovery


ISSN (Print): 1570-1808
ISSN (Online): 1875-628X

Research Article

L-carnitine Supplementation Improves Self-rating Depression Scale Scores in Uremic Male Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis

Author(s): Kyoko Tashiro, Yusuke Kaida, Sho-ichi Yamagishi, Hideharu Tanaka, Miyuki Yokoro, Junko Yano, Kazuko Sakai, Yuka Kurokawa, Kensei Taguchi, Yosuke Nakayama, Takahiro Inokuchi and Kei Fukami*

Volume 14, Issue 6, 2017

Page: [737 - 742] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1570180814666170216102632

open access plus


Background: Depression is highly prevalent in uremic patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). We previously found that low free-carnitine levels are associated with depression severity in male patients undergoing HD. However, whether L-carnitine supplementation improves the depression state in male patients undergoing HD remains unclear.

Methods: Sixteen male patients undergoing HD were orally administered 900 mg L-carnitine daily or intravenously administered 1000 mg L-carnitine immediately after undergoing HD for 3 months. The depression state and various types of carnitine levels were evaluated using the self-rating depression scale (SDS) and tandem mass spectrometry, respectively, at baseline and 3 months after treatment.

Results: L-carnitine supplementation significantly increased serum levels of free and other acylcarnitine types, associated with improved SDS scores in male patients undergoing HD. Univariate analysis revealed that low baseline butyryl- and isovaleryl-/2-methylbutyryl-carnitine levels were significantly correlated with SDS scores after treatment. Multiple regression analysis revealed that butyrylcarnitine levels were a sole independent predictor of SDS scores after treatment (r2 = 0.533).

Conclusion: L-carnitine supplementation for 3 months improved the depression state in uremic male patients undergoing HD. Thus, low butyryl-carnitine levels may predict the clinical response to L-carnitine supplementation in male patients undergoing HD and who have mild depression.

Keywords: Carnitine, depression, hemodialysis, SDS, uremic male patients, mood disorder.

Graphical Abstract

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