ABSTRACT: Incubation of liver explants from second-trimester human foetuses with dexamethasone, glucagon or dibutyryl cyclic AMP (plus theophylline) increased the activity of liver cystathionase from unmeasurable or trace values to adult values. Simultaneous incubation with cycloheximide or actinomycin D inhibited this effect.
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:High activity of cystathionase was present in rat liver but only low amounts of activity in rat brain during development. Triamcinolone had no effect on liver cystathionase activity in foetuses but increased the enzyme activity significantly in postnatal rats. l-Thyroxine decreased liver cystathionase activity significantly in newborn rats; administration of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate did not prevent this effect. l-Methionine significantly increased liver cystathionase activity in newborn rats.
Project description:1. The administration of triamcinolone (19-190mug/animal) to postnatal rats increased the arginine synthetase system activity 1.2-2.5-fold above control values 24h after exposure to the hormone. Cortisol (hydrocortisone), however, increased the arginine synthetase system activity only when larger (190mug/animal) or repeated daily doses were given. Glucagon (100mug/animal) stimulated arginine synthetase system activity only after the second postnatal day. None of these agents increased the activity in 19.5-21.5-day foetuses after intrauterine administration. 2. The viability of foetal rat liver explants maintained in organ culture for up to 54h was validated both by ultramicroscopic examination and by incorporation of radioactive leucine and orotic acid. 3. In organ cultures of foetal rat liver explants (18.5 days to term), triamcinolone (20mug/ml of medium) evoked a 2.8-4.3-fold increase after 24h of incubation. This increase was completely inhibited by actinomycin D (25mug/ml) or cycloheximide (10mug/ml). Cortisol (5-50mug/ml) or glucagon (0.067-67mug/ml) also increased the arginine synthetase system activity above the respective control values, but there was no increase in activity with insulin (0.05-0.25i.u./ml). 4. Maximum concentrations of glucagon (67mug/ml), dibutyryl cyclic AMP (6-N,2'-O-dibutyryladenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate) (0.1mm) and triamcinolone (20mug/ml) incubated for 24h with foetal rat liver explants each produced between a two-and three-fold increase in the activity of the arginine synthetase system. Combinations of maximum amounts of glucagon and the cyclic nucleotide did not produce a greater effect than either agent alone. However, the combination of dibutyryl cyclic AMP with triamcinolone appeared to produce somewhat less than additive effects. 5. The effects of the cyclic nucleotide and triamcinolone were evident after 12h of incubation and increased steadily throughout the 24h of observation. This time-course of increased enzyme activity is very much slower than that reported for the induction of other enzymes in explant cultures of foetal rat liver.
Project description:UDP-glucuronyltransferase was assayed in liver from adult rhesus monkeys and foetuses during late gestation. Activities toward 2-aminophenol, 5-hydroxytryptamine, 1-naphthol and 4-nitrophenol in the foetal liver ranged from 46 to 114% of adult values, whereas activities toward bilirubin, oestradiol and testosterone were less than 5% of adult values. This suggests that in primates UDP-glucuronyltransferase develops differentially in two clusters analogous to that in the rat.
Project description:We studied the effects of glucagon, dibutyryl cyclic AMP and dexamethasone on the rate of [(14)C]pantothenate conversion to CoA in adult rat liver parenchymal cells in primary culture. The presence of 30nm-glucagon increased the rate by about 1.5-fold relative to control cultures (range 1.4-2.3) and 2.4-fold relative to cultures containing 1-3m-i.u. of insulin/ml. The half-maximal effect was obtained at 3nm-glucagon. Dibutyryl cyclic AMP plus theophylline also enhanced the rate by about 1.5-fold. Dexamethasone acted synergistically with glucagon; glucagon at 0.3nm had no effect when added alone, but resulted in a 1.7-fold enhancement when added in the presence of dexamethasone (maximum effect at 50nm). The 1.4-fold enhancement caused by the addition of saturating glucagon concentrations was increased to a 3-fold overall enhancement by the addition of dexamethasone. However, dexamethasone added alone over the range 5nm to 5mum had no effect on the rate of [(14)C]pantothenate conversion to CoA. The stimulatory effect of dibutyryl cyclic AMP plus theophylline was also enhanced by the addition of dexamethasone. Changes in intracellular pantothenate concentration or radioactivity could not account for the stimulatory effects of glucagon, dibutyryl cyclic AMP or dexamethasone. Addition of 18mum-cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, decreased the rate of incorporation of [(14)C]pantothenate into CoA and the enhancement of this rate by glucagon and dibutyryl cyclic AMP plus theophylline in a reversible manner. These results demonstrate an influence of glucagon, dibutyryl cyclic AMP and glucocorticoids on the intracellular mechanism regulating total CoA concentrations in the liver.
Project description:Glutathione metabolism was studied in isolated hepatocytes from foetal, newborn and adult rats. The GSH/GSSG ratio decreased 15-20-fold through the foetal-neonatal-adult transition. This was mainly due to an increase in GSSG. All enzyme activities involved in the glutathione redox cycle tend to increase during that transition, but the relative increases in glutathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase were 3-5 times those of glutathione reductase or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. GSH synthesis from methionine as a sulphur source was 6 times lower in foetal than in adult hepatocytes. However, when N-acetylcysteine was used as a sulphur donor to by-pass the cystathionine pathway, the rates of GSH synthesis were similar in foetal and adult cells. This is due to the fact that cystathionase activity in foetal cells is very low. This low activity is reflected in the blood amino acid pattern, where the concentration of cysteine rises from 8 to 52 microM from foetuses to adult rats. This supports the idea that cysteine may be an essential amino acid for the premature animal.
Project description:Liver explants from 19-day foetal rats were maintained in organ culture, in a defined medium, for up to 48h. Both 6-N,2'-O-dibutyryl cyclic AMP, in the presence of theophylline, and dexamethasone caused an increase in the activities of carbamoyl phosphate synthase, argininosuccinate synthetase, argininosuccinate lyase and arginase. These increases could be abolished by simultaneously incubating the explants with cycloheximide. No change in the activity of ornithine transcarbamoylase was found with either hormone. Previous work has shown that injection of corticosteroids into 19.5-day foetal rats in utero did not cause an increase in the arginine synthetase system. Present results suggest that this lack of effect is not due to any incompetence of the foetal rat liver at this stage to respond to this agent. The observations on ornithine transcarbamoylase activity suggest that this enzyme is induced in the liver of the perinatal rat by neither corticosteroids nor hormones acting via cyclic AMP, and it may be that all the enzymes of the urea cycle are induced physiologically by an agent or agents as yet unidentified.
Project description:1. Adrenaline increased hepatic tyrosine aminotransferase activity when injected into foetal rats or 2-day-old rats. 2. The inhibition of the postnatal increase in tyrosine aminotransferase activity which occurred in adrenalectomized newborn rats rapidly overcome by injection of adrenaline or dibutyryl cyclic AMP. 3. The effects of adrenaline or dibutyryl cyclic AMP on the tyrosine aminotransferase activity in foetal, adrenalectomized newborn and 2-day-old rats could be partially or completely blocked by prior treatment with actinomycin D. 4. Dibutyryl cyclic AMP induced tyrosine aminotransferase activity in hepatocytes cultured from 15-day foetal rats in glucocorticoid-free medium. 5. Actinomycin D at 0.2 microgram/ml in the culture medium completely prevented the induction of tyrosine aminotransferase activity by dibutyryl cyclic AMP in cultured cells. 6. The results suggest that adrenaline and cyclic AMP stimulate a transcriptional event during induction of tyrosine aminotransferase in perinatal liver.
Project description:1. The release of growth hormone from isolated fragments of rat anterior pituitary tissue incubated in vitro was studied by employing a double-antibody radioimmunoassay. 2. In the absence of added stimuli, two phases of hormone release could be distinguished, an early phase of 2h duration and a subsequent late phase. In the early phase, hormone release was rapid but could be significantly decreased by calcium depletion and by 2,4-dinitrophenol whereas the rate of release in the late phase was uninfluenced by these incubation conditions. These results have been interpreted as indicating the existence of a secretory component in the early phase of release. 3. In subsequent experiments, the effects of various agents on the rate of hormone output during the late phase of incubation were investigated. Hormone release was increased by theophylline and by dibutyryl cyclic AMP (N(6)-2'-O-dibutyryl-adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate), the response to both of these agents being related to the concentration of the stimulant employed. 4. The stimulation of growth hormone output by theophylline was significantly decreased by calcium deprivation and by 2,4-dinitrophenol. The response to dibutyryl cyclic AMP was diminished by 2,4-dinitrophenol, iodoacetate and 2-deoxyglucose but not by malonate or colchicine. 5. Arginine, beta-hydroxybutyrate, albumin-bound palmitate and variation in the glucose concentration of the incubation medium over a wide range were without any statistically significant effect on the rate of hormone release from either control pituitary fragments or those subject to secretory stimulation by dibutyryl cyclic AMP. 6. It is suggested that the regulation of growth hormone secretion is mediated by cyclic AMP (adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate). The secretion observed in response to cyclic AMP requires the presence of ionized calcium and a source of metabolic energy but is independent of pituitary protein synthesis de novo. The integrity of the glycolytic pathway of glucose metabolism appears to be essential for cyclic AMP-stimulated growth hormone secretion to occur.
Project description: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.