Changes in the control of enzyme clusters in the liver of adult and senescent rats

W. H. Lamers, P. G. Mooren

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The activities of a number of enzymes in rat liver have been measured at different times during adulthood and senescence and expressed as a percentage of maximal activity that can be attained after hormonal stimulation. Three different profiles can be detected. Type I profile shows decreasing activities during adolescence (1--3 months of age), increasing activities during adulthood (4--12 months of age) and relatively high activities thereafter. Enzymes of this group are carbamoyl-phosphate synthase and arginase; DNA content shows the same pattern. Type II profile shows decreasing activities during adolescence and relatively low activities thereafter. Enzymes of this group are tyrosine aminotransferase, glucose-6-phosphatase, and glucokinase. Type III profile shows relatively high activities during adolescence, adulthood and senescence. Enzymes of this group are ornithine transcarbamoylase, glutamate dehydrogenase and hexokinase. Some enzymes are constant with age in females, but slowly decrease in activity with age in males; decreasing levels of androgens and possibly also thyroid hormones can explain this decrease in males. Decreasing activities of carbamoyl-phosphate synthase and arginase during adolescence can be attributed to a depressant effect of gonadal hormones. The difference between relatively high and relatively low basal activities of enzymes in adult and senescent rats corresponds with their relatively long and short half-lives, respectively. This relation implicates a similar rate of synthesis of glucocorticosteroid hormone-dependent enzymes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
JournalMechanisms of ageing and development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1981

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