Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 427, Issue 1–2, pp 96–101 | Cite as

The hydrolysis of glycerol-3-phosphate into glycerol in cardiac tissue: possible consequences for the validity of glycerol release as a measure of lipolysis

  • Monique J. M. de Groot
  • Yvonne F. de Jong
  • Will A. Coumans
  • Ger J. van der Vusse
Heart, Circulation, Respiration and Blood; Environmental and Exercise Physiology


Glycerol release has been generally accepted as an index of lipolysis in the intact heart. The glycerol moiety of glycerol-3-phosphate (glycerol-3-P) is incorporated into triacylglycerols, which are then hydrolysed with release of glycerol. This study investigates the possibility that glycerol may be derived directly from glycerol-3-P instead of passing through the triacylglycerol pool. The cardiac capacity for hydrolysis of glycerol-3-P into glycerol was determined in homogenates of rat hearts. Glycerol-3-P hydrolysis activity in homogenates increased with decreasing pH. The activity was approximately four times higher at pH 5.0 than at pH 7.2 (0.94±0.11 and 0.25±0.03 μmol · g wet weight−1 · min−1respectively). The substrate concentration at which half-maximal glycerol-3-P hydrolysis activity was reached did not significantly differ at pH 5.0 and pH 7.2 (4.2±1.1 mM and 2.9±1.0 mM respectively). In the intact heart, the pH and substrate conditions found under ischaemia are favourable for direct conversion of glycerol-3-P into glycerol. The glycerol-3-P hydrolysis activity measured in vitro was sufficiently high to account for glycerol production in the ischaemia heart. However, the lack of a stoichiometric relation between cardiac glycerol-3-P and glycerol levels in ischaemia indicates that production of glycerol cannot be explained solely by hydrolysis.

Key words

Glycerol-3-P Glycerol Heart Ischaemia Lipolysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique J. M. de Groot
    • 1
  • Yvonne F. de Jong
    • 2
  • Will A. Coumans
    • 1
  • Ger J. van der Vusse
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research Institute MaastrichtUniversity of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Motion Science, Cardiovascular Research Institute MaastrichtUniversity of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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