A possible block in the intermediary metabolism of glucose into proteins and lipids in the brains of undernourished rats
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[U-14C] Glucose or [1-14C] L-leucine was injected intraperitoneally into 28-day-old undernourished rats and control sibs who were killed 6 hr later. Brain proteins and lipids were extracted and the lipids fractionated by silicic acid column chromatography into cholesterol, glycolipids and phospholipids. The specific activity of labeled carbon derived from [U-14C] glucose in brain proteins was reduced by 25% in undernourished animals when compared to controls. A similar reduction was seen in the specific activity of brain lipids of undernourished animals: 14% for cholesterol, 21% for phospholipids and 35% for glycolipids. When [1-14C] l-leucine was used as a direct precursor of brain protein synthesis, the specific activity in the undernourished group was only 5% less than that found for the controls. This was not statistically significant. The results suggest that there may be a block in the intermediary metabolism of glucose in the brains of undernourished rats that reduces the availability of glucose carbon to the precursor pool used for protein and lipid synthesis.
KeywordsBrain Protein Label Carbon Silicic Acid Column Chromatography Glucose Carbon Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy
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