Neurochemical Research

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 843–847 | Cite as

Brief fasting decreases protein synthesis in the brain of adult rats

  • Y. Cherel
  • D. Attaix
  • D. Rosolowska-Huszcz
  • M. Arnal
  • Y. Le Maho
Original Articles


The influence of starvation on protein synthesis in the adult rat brain was studied in vivo by an intravenous injection of a flooding dose of unlabeled valine including a tracer dose ofL-[3,4(n)-3H]valine. Brief starvation (24 hours) induced a 20% decline in fractional and absolute rates of brain protein synthesis. This decline resulted from a 20% decrease in the efficiency of protein synthesis (μg protein synthesized per day per μg RNA) whereas the capacity for protein synthesis (μg RNA per mg protein) was maintained. Prolonged starvation (5 days) was marked by no further significant changes in the fractional rate, absolute rate and efficiency of protein synthesis, whereas the capacity for protein synthesis cecreased slightly. The relative contribution of brain to wholebody body protein synthesis increased during fasting, and neither the protein nor the RNA brain content did change during the experiment. These results clearly indicate that brain proteins are spared in response to brief and prolonged food deprivation, and that brain protein synthesis is very sensitive to short-term fasting.

Key Words

Starvation protein turnover large dose method valine RNA 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Cherel
    • 1
  • D. Attaix
    • 2
  • D. Rosolowska-Huszcz
    • 2
  • M. Arnal
    • 2
  • Y. Le Maho
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Etude des Régulations Physiologiques, associé à l'Université PasteurCentre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d'Etude du Métabolisme AzotéInstitut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueCeyratFrance

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