Date of Award

1975

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Delmont C. Smith

Abstract

The effect of thermal injury on plasma and tissue carnitine was studied by comparing the concentration of carnitine in scalded and uninjured rats over a time interval of 74 or 78 hours post burn. The experiment which was initiated at 9:00 PM produced results which indicated that the plasma carnitine of the burned animals was significantly increased at 24 hours following burning. In the study begun at 3:00 PM, an increase in carnitine was found in the burned group at 6 hours post burn.

The reason for these findings is not known. It is postulated that decreased body temperature immediately following a burn (0 to 24 hours post burn) may be related to the increased plasma carnitine concentration seen in the burned animals during the same time period. This may be involved with changes in free fatty acid metabolism during the recovery period. It is also suggested that the overall variations in plasma carnitine from one assay to the next may be a manifestation of any, or all, of a number of factors including: an effect of the anesthesia, stress produced by handling and/or loss of blood during sampling, the presence of a circadian carnitine cycle, or a change in eating habits.

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