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Open AccessArticle

A Pilot Study on the Effects of l-Carnitine and Trimethylamine-N-Oxide on Platelet Mitochondrial DNA Methylation and CVD Biomarkers in Aged Women

1
School of Pharmacy, Unit of Molecular Biology, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
2
Doctoral School for Physical Culture Sciences, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland
3
Department of Human Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Gdansk, 80-210 Gdansk, Poland
4
2nd Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Gdansk, 80-210 Gdansk, Poland
5
Department of Athletics, Strength and Conditioning, Poznan University of Physical Education, 61-871 Poznan, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031047
Received: 15 January 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 3 February 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020
l-carnitine supplementation has been used for cardiovascular health protection for a long time. Recently, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), which is an end product of l-carnitine metabolism via the activity of microbiota, has been identified as a cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarker. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of 6 months of l-carnitine supplementation in a group of aged women engaged in a regular physical training. Platelet mitochondrial DNA methylation, an emerging and innovative biomarker, lipid profile and TMAO levels have been measured. TMAO increased after l-carnitine supplementation (before 344.3 ± 129.8 ng/mL vs. after 2216.8 ± 1869.0 ng/mL; n = 9; paired t-test, p = 0.02). No significant effects on TMAO were exerted by training alone (n = 9) or by l-leucine supplementation (n = 12). TMAO levels after 6 months of l-carnitine supplementation were associated with higher low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) (Spearman Rho = 0.518, p = 0.003) and total cholesterol (TC) (Spearman Rho = 0.407, p = 0.026) levels. l-carnitine supplementation increased D-loop methylation in platelets (+6.63%; paired t-test, p = 0.005). D-loop methylation was not directly correlated to the TMAO augmentation observed in the supplemented group, but its increase inversely correlated with TC (Pearson coefficient = −0.529, p = 0.029) and LDL-c (Pearson coefficient = −0.439, p = 0.048). This evidence supports the hypothesis that the correlation between l-carnitine, TMAO and atherosclerosis might be more complex than already postulated, and the alteration of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation in platelets could be involved in the pathogenesis of this multifactorial disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: mtDNA methylation; TMAO; D-loop; CVD; l-carnitine; nutrigenomics; biomarker mtDNA methylation; TMAO; D-loop; CVD; l-carnitine; nutrigenomics; biomarker
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bordoni, L.; Sawicka, A.K.; Szarmach, A.; Winklewski, P.J.; Olek, R.A.; Gabbianelli, R. A Pilot Study on the Effects of l-Carnitine and Trimethylamine-N-Oxide on Platelet Mitochondrial DNA Methylation and CVD Biomarkers in Aged Women. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031047

AMA Style

Bordoni L, Sawicka AK, Szarmach A, Winklewski PJ, Olek RA, Gabbianelli R. A Pilot Study on the Effects of l-Carnitine and Trimethylamine-N-Oxide on Platelet Mitochondrial DNA Methylation and CVD Biomarkers in Aged Women. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(3):1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bordoni, Laura; Sawicka, Angelika K.; Szarmach, Arkadiusz; Winklewski, Pawel J.; Olek, Robert A.; Gabbianelli, Rosita. 2020. "A Pilot Study on the Effects of l-Carnitine and Trimethylamine-N-Oxide on Platelet Mitochondrial DNA Methylation and CVD Biomarkers in Aged Women" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 3: 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031047

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