Glycogen metabolism in the liver of the foetal rat.
ABSTRACT: 1. The glycogen present in the liver of rat foetuses was labelled by injecting a trace amount of [6-(3)H]glucose into the mother at 19.5 days of gestation. The radioactivity incorporated in the glycogen 4h after the administration of the label was still present 38h later. A large proportion of this radioactivity was on the outer chains of the polysaccharide. These results indicate that there is normally almost no glycogen degradation in the foetal liver. In contrast, glycogen breakdown occurs very rapidly in the livers of foetuses whose mother is anaesthetized. 2. Glycogen synthetase is present in the liver at day 16 of gestation at a concentration as high as 30% of that in the adult, but essentially as an inactive (b) enzyme. The appearance of synthetase phosphatase between days 18 and 19 corresponds to that of synthetase a and to the beginning of glycogen synthesis. From day 19 to 21.5 the amount of synthetase a present in the foetal liver is just sufficient to account for the actual rate of glycogen deposition. 3. The content of total phosphorylase in the foetal liver increases continuously from day 16 to birth. However, a precise measurement of the a and b forms of the enzyme in the liver of non-anaesthetized foetuses is not possible. Taking the rate of glycogenolysis as an appropriate index of phosphorylase activity, we conclude that this enzyme is almost entirely in the inactive form in the foetal liver under normal conditions. 4. The accumulation of glycogen in the liver during late pregnancy may therefore be explained by a relatively slow rate of synthesis and a nearly total absence of degradation.
Project description:Incorporation and release of the radioactivity in the liver glycogen of 18.5- and 19.5-day-old rat foetuses were studied after intravenous injection of E11-14C]glycerol. Incorporation occurred during 1 h after injection of the radioactive tracer to the foetus; then, the incorporated radioactivity decreased. Glycogen content in the liver, and glycogen phosphorylase and glycogen synthase were not modified during the experiment. It is therefore postulated that a physiological turnover of glycogen exists in the liver of the rat foetus.
Project description:1. The development of active and inactive phosphorylase was determined in rat liver during the perinatal period. No inactive form could be found in tissues from animals less than 19 days gestation or older than the fifth postnatal day. 2. The regulation of phosphorylase in organ cultures of foetal rat liver was examined. None of the agents examined [glucagon, insulin or dibutyryl cyclic AMP (6-N,2'-O-dibutyryladenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate)] changed the amount of phosphorylase activity. 3. Glycogen concentration in these explants were nevertheless decreased more than twofold by 4h of incubation with glucagon or dibutyryl cyclic AMP. Incubation with insulin for 4h increased the glycogen content twofold. 4. Glycogen synthetase activity was examined in these explants. I-form activity (without glucose 6-phosphate) was found to decrease by a factor of two after 4h of incubation with dibutyryl cyclic AMP, whereas I+D activity (with glucose 6-phosphate) remained nearly constant. Incubation for 4h with insulin increased I-form activity threefold, with only a slight increase in I+D activity. 5. When explants were incubated with insulin followed by addition of dibutyryl cyclic AMP, the effects of insulin on glycogen concentration and glycogen synthetase activity were reversed. 6. These results indicate that the regulation of glycogen synthesis may be the major factor in the hormonal control of glycogen metabolism in neonatal rat liver.
Project description:1. A precocious development of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity (EC 18.104.22.168) towards o-aminophenol is demonstrated in 15-17 day foetal rat liver in utero after dexamethasone administration to the mother. 2. This stimulation of liver transferase activity in utero is directly proportional to the dose of dexamethasone infected. 3. Precocious development of transferase activity in utero can also be effected with the natural glucocorticoid cortisol by multiple injections of large amounts of this hormone into the mother. 4. Transferase activity towards o-aminophenolin foetal lung, kidney and upper alimentary tract can also be precociously stimulated by dexamethasone in 17-day foetuses in utero. 5. Natural development of hepatic transferase activity between days 18 and 20 of gestation is retarded after foetal hypophysectomy by decapitation in utero. 6. Overall glucuronidation of o-aminophenol, as observed in foetal rat liver, is also precociously stimulated by dexamethasone. 7. From this and from evidence previously presented we suggest that glucocorticoids, which are known to increase in rat foetuses between days 17 and 20 of gestation, trigger the normal development in utero of hepatic transferase activity towards o-aminophenol which occurs at that time. We also suggest that these hormones are responsible for the rise in activity of the enzyme in foetal lung, kidney and upper alimentary tract which occurs during the same gestational period.
Project description:A specific tyrosine aminotransferase, separate from the aspartate aminotransferases, is present in low concentration in foetal rat liver at the 21st day of gestation. Intraperitoneal injections of tyrosine methyl ester into the foetuses in utero increase the activity 2-fold, whereas glucose injections decrease it. Tyrosine, dexamethasone and dibutyryl cyclic AMP induce the enzyme activity in organ culture to the same extent as in adult rat liver in vivo.
Project description:1. The administration of cortisol and of other glucocorticoid steroids to starved mice produced an increase in liver glycogen content, an elevation of glycogen-synthetase activity and a predominantly particulate localization of both phosphorylase and glycogen-synthetase enzymes. 2. Three daily doses of actinomycin D caused a marked glycogen depletion, a significant decrease in glycogen-synthetase activity, the solubilization of phosphorylase and glycogen synthetase and the following effects on the activities of various other enzymes: a decrease in UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and phosphoglucomutase, an increase in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and no change in glucose 6-phosphatase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase and UDP-glucose dehydrogenase. 3. Glucose ingestion, but not cortisol administration, reversed the effects of actinomycin D on liver glycogen content and on the activities of phosphorylase and glycogen synthetase.
Project description:1. The total activity of glycogen synthease increased 20-fold from day 17 of gestation to birth at day 22, with a further increase of 18% in the 24h after birth. Active synthase (I) rose 45-fold to a maximum at day 21, fell 40% before birth, and then increased by a similar amount 24h after birth. The fraction of synthase in the active form correlated very well with the deposition of glycogen in the liver. 2. Total phosphorylase had a similar developmental pattern of total synthease with an 18-fold increase from day 17 to day 22. The appearance of active phosphorylase showed a lag-period compared with total phosphorylase and did not increase significantly until day 20. The fraction of phosphorylase in the active form did not correlate at all with glycogen deposition or mobilization. 3. There was a close relationshp between the ratio of phosphorylase a/synthase I and the glycogen content of the liver. An increase or decrease in this ratio would result in glycogenolysis of glycogenesis respectively. 4. It is postulated that a cycle between the two enzymes under basal conditions could exist which permits a continuous turnover of glycogen. Such a system would explain why active phosphorylase is always seen, even under conditions of net glycogen synthesis. The differences in hormone sensitivity of synthase and phosphorylase would also be accounted for as only one enzyme would have to respond acutely to hormonal influences.
Project description:Vasopressin, angiotensin and phenylephrine stimulate glycogenolysis in postnatal rat liver by a Ca2+-mediated mechanism not involving cyclic AMP. To determine whether these hormones promote glycogenolysis in foetal liver, we have examined their effects, and those of the Ca2+ ionophore A23187, on glycogen metabolism in cultured foetal-rat hepatocytes. Vasopressin and angiotensin (0.1 nM-0.1 microM) had no effects on either glycogen synthesis (as assessed by [14C]glucose incorporation into glycogen) or phosphorylase a activity. However, A23187 at 1 and 10 microM inhibited glycogen synthesis by 31.3 and 89.1% respectively (both P less than 0.001) and stimulated phosphorylase a activity by 66.9 and 184.1% respectively (both P less than 0.01). Incubation of cells in Ca2+-deficient medium attenuated the effects of 10 microM-A23187 on glycogen synthesis and abolished the effects of 1 microM-A23187. As in postnatal liver, glucagon (1 and 20 nM) and isoprenaline (1 and 10 microM), which activate adenylate cyclase, inhibited glycogen synthesis and stimulated phosphorylase a activity in foetal hepatocytes. The minimal effective concentration of phenylephrine was 10 times that of isoprenaline. These results indicate striking differences in the ontogeny of cyclic AMP-mediated and Ca2+-mediated processes which regulate hepatic glycogenolysis. Since increases in cytosolic Ca2+ induce glycogenolysis in foetal-rat liver, the weak or absent responses to vasopressin, angiotensin and the alpha-adrenergic agonists may result from defects in hormone-receptor binding or in post-receptor events leading to the mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stores.
Project description:1. Glucose, formed from [1-(14)C]fructose or [6-(14)C]fructose in rat-liver slices, has been isolated as gluconate and degraded to give the radioactivity in C-1, C-2-5 and C-6. 2. By using this method it has been shown that, in liver from foetal rats younger than 20 days, glucose is formed from fructose without splitting of the molecule by the aldolase reaction. The rate of glucose formation from fructose in liver from these foetuses is approximately half of the rate in adult liver. 3. The direct conversion of fructose into glucose in foetal rat liver is not via sorbitol as in seminal vesicles, as this pathway cannot be detected. 4. When liver slices are incubated with [U-(14)C]fructose of high specific activity, the labelled intermediates are similar whether from liver from 18-day foetal, newborn or adult rats. 5. These findings are discussed with reference to the changing pathways of fructose metabolism during perinatal development of the liver in the rat.
Project description:1. The glycogen formed in the livers of adult rats was labelled by injection of [1-14C] galactose soon after initiation of re-feeding after starvation. The rats were anaesthetized 4h later and glycogenolysis was induced by giving them a mixture of glucagon and insulin. In confirmation of previous work [Devos & Hers (1979) Eur J. Biochem. 99, 161-167],, there was a delay in degradation of the labelled glycogen by comparison with total glycogen. This pattern is considered as characteristic of an ordered glycogenolysis. Treatment of rats with phlorizin abolished the difference between the fate of labelled and total glycogen, causing, therefore, a random glycogenolysis. 2. Foetal liver glycogen was made radioactive by injecting [14C] glucose into the mother at the 19.5 day of gestation, i.e. at the time when this glycogen starts to be synthesized. During the postnatal degradation of this glycogen, radioactive and total glycogen were degraded at approximately the same rate, indicating that glycogenolysis occurred at random. In contrast, when puromycin was injected into the newborn rats, there was a delay in he degradation of the labelled glycogen as compared with that of total glycogen, as currently observed in the normal adult liver. 3. These data are discussed in relation with the fact that glycogen-filled vacuoles are currently seen in the livers of adult rats treated with phlorizin, and also in the neonatal livers, and that puromycin is known to cause the disappearance of these autophagic pictures in the liver of newborn rats. It is suggested that random glycogenolysis occurs through hydrolysis by the lysosomal acid alpha-glucosidase, in the course of autophagy.
Project description:Rates of lipogenesis in foetal isolated brown adipocytes from 22-day-pregnant rats were significantly increased by lactate plus pyruvate as major substrates in the incubation medium, in comparison with the endogenous rates. Insulin stimulated foetal brown-adipocyte lipogenesis, and adrenaline or noradrenaline and isoprenaline decreased lipogenesis. Glucagon had no effect on the lipogenic rate in brown adipocytes. Progesterone administration to the mother significantly increased the rates of lipogenesis in brown adipose tissue and in isolated brown adipocytes from 22-day foetuses. Prolongation of gestation by progesterone to day 23 decreased the rates of brown-adipose-tissue lipogenesis in vivo and in isolated cells in the post-mature foetuses.