Renal ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) injury is a common complication during multiple surgical procedures, which may end with acute renal failure. l-Carnitine is a cofactor required for mitochondrial function and cellular energy production.
Aim of the work
The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect, if any, of l-carnitine administration on the I/R insult on the renal cortex of rats.
Materials and methods
Thirty adult male albino rats were divided into three groups. Group I was the control group, which consisted of 12 animals. Group II consisted of nine animals that were operated upon for induction of left renal I/R. Group III consisted of nine animals that received intraperitoneal l-carnitine daily for 14 successive days, followed by I/R. The rats were sacrificed 24 h after the ischemic injury. The left kidneys were dissected out and specimens were prepared for histological study.
Group II showed vacuolated cytoplasm of tubular epithelial cells, with loss of brush borders of proximal convoluted tubules (PCTs). The renal interstitium showed infiltration with inflammatory cells and congestion of the peritubular capillaries.
Some glomeruli showed homogenous periodic acid–Schiff-positive depositions. On observation with an electron microscope PCTs showed vacuolated cytoplasm and loss of apical microvilli. Moreover, distorted basal membrane infoldings and distorted mitochondria were seen in PCTs and distal convoluted tubules. The glomerular basement membrane showed some areas of thickening with distorted flattened minor processes of podocytes. Group III showed a histological picture nearly similar to that of the control group. However, some PCTs showed vacuolated cytoplasm. Morphometric and statistical results confirmed the histological findings.
The administration of l-carnitine before renal I/R could alleviate most of the hazardous effects that usually occur in the renal cortex.