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1.  Metabolism of acetyl-L-carnitine for energy and neurotransmitter synthesis in the immature rat brain 
Journal of neurochemistry  2010;114(3):820-831.
Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is an endogenous metabolic intermediate that facilitates the influx and efflux of acetyl groups across the mitochondrial inner membrane. Exogenously administered ALCAR has been used as a nutritional supplement and also as an experimental drug with reported neuroprotective properties and effects on brain metabolism. The aim of this study was to determine oxidative metabolism of ALCAR in the immature rat forebrain. Metabolism was studied in 21 day old rat brain at 15, 60 and 120 minutes after an intraperitoneal injection of [2-13C]acetyl-L-carnitine. The amount, pattern, and fractional enrichment of 13C-labeled metabolites were determined by ex vivo 13C-NMR spectroscopy. Metabolism of the acetyl moiety from [2-13C]ALCAR via the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle led to incorporation of label into the C4, C3 and C2 positions of glutamate (GLU), glutamine (GLN) and GABA. Labeling patterns indicated that [2-13C]ALCAR was metabolized by both neurons and glia; however, the percent enrichment was higher in GLN and GABA than in GLU, demonstrating high metabolism in astrocytes and GABAergic neurons. Incorporation of label into the C3 position of alanine, both C3 and C2 of lactate, and the C1 and C5 positions of glutamate and glutamine demonstrated that [2-13C]ALCAR was actively metabolized via the pyruvate recycling pathway. The enrichment of metabolites with 13C from metabolism of ALCAR was highest in alanine C3 (10%) and lactate C3 (9%), with considerable enrichment in GABA C4 (8%), GLN C3 (~4%) and GLN C5 (5%). Overall, our 13C-NMR studies reveal that the acetyl moiety of ALCAR is metabolized for energy in both astrocytes and neurons and the label incorporated into the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA. Cycling ratios showed prolonged cycling of carbon from the acetyl moiety of ALCAR in the TCA cycle. Labeling of compounds formed from metabolism of [2-13C]ALCAR via the pyruvate recycling pathway was higher than values reported for other precursors and may reflect high activity of this pathway in the developing brain. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to determine the extent and pathways of ALCAR metabolism for energy and neurotransmitter biosynthesis in the brain.
PMCID: PMC4949601  PMID: 20477950
acetyl-L-carnitine; immature brain; metabolism; 13C-NMR spectroscopy; glutamate; glutamine; GABA; pyruvate recycling
2.  CLC-2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as potential modifiers of cystic fibrosis disease severity 
BMC Medical Genetics  2004;5:26.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease manifest by impaired chloride secretion leads to eventual respiratory failure. Candidate genes that may modify CF lung disease severity include alternative chloride channels. The objectives of this study are to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the airway epithelial chloride channel, CLC-2, and correlate these polymorphisms with CF lung disease.
The CLC-2 promoter, intron 1 and exon 20 were examined for SNPs in adult CF dF508/dF508 homozygotes with mild and severe lung disease (forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) > 70% and < 40%).
PCR amplification of genomic CLC-2 and sequence analysis revealed 1 polymorphism in the hClC -2 promoter, 4 in intron 1, and none in exon 20. Fisher's analysis within this data set, did not demonstrate a significant relationship between the severity of lung disease and SNPs in the CLC-2 gene.
CLC-2 is not a key modifier gene of CF lung phenotype. Further studies evaluating other phenotypes associated with CF may be useful in the future to assess the ability of CLC-2 to modify CF disease severity.
PMCID: PMC526769  PMID: 15507145

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