L-Carnitine Protect against Cyclophosphamide Induced Skeletal and Neural Tube Malformations in Rat Fetuses

  • Mahmood Khaksary Mahabady Mail Department of Anatomy and Embryology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • Hossein Najafzadeh Varzi Department of Pharmacology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • Saeedeh Zareyan Jahromi Graduated from School of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
Cyclophosphamide, Cleft palate, Exencephaly, L-carnitine, Teratogenicity, Rat


Cyclophosphamide (CP) is a mustard alkylating agent used in the treatment of a number of neoplastic diseases and as an immunosuppressant for the prevention of xenograft rejection. There are many reports that the teratogenic effects of cyclophosphamide can be prevented by application of antioxidant drugs and stimulation of the maternal immune system. Also, there is some evidence that L-carnitine is antioxidant. Therefore, in this study, the prophylactic effect of L-carnitine on teratogenic effects of CP was evaluated. This study was performed on 31 pregnant rats divided into 5 groups. Control group received normal saline and test groups received L-carnitine (500 mg/kg), CP (15 mg/kg), CP (15 mg/kg) plus L-carnitine (250 mg/kg) and CP (15 mg/kg) plus L-carnitine (500 mg/kg) intraperitoneally at 9th day of gestation. Fetuses were collected at 20th day of gestation and after determination of weight and length; they were stained by Alizarin red-Alcian blue method. Cleft palate, spina bifida, and exencephaly incidence were 55.55%, 33.34% and 27.77% in fetuses of mice that received only CP. Cleft palate, spina bifida, exencephaly incidence were 21.42%, 4.76% and 9.52% in the group which received CP plus L-carnitine (250 mg/kg), respectively. However, cleft palate, spina bifida, and exencephaly incidence were 8%, 0% and 8% range in the group received CP plus L-carnitine (500 mg/kg), respectively. In addition, skeletal anomalies incidence including limbs, vertebrae, and sternum defects were decreased by L-carnitine. The mean of weight and length of animals' fetuses received L-carnitine were significantly greater than those received only CP. In conclusion, L-carnitine significantly decreased teratogenicity induced by CP; but this subject needs more detailed evaluation.


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How to Cite
Khaksary Mahabady M, Najafzadeh Varzi H, Zareyan Jahromi S. L-Carnitine Protect against Cyclophosphamide Induced Skeletal and Neural Tube Malformations in Rat Fetuses. Acta Med Iran. 53(11):703-710.
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