Development of the Ornithine-Urea Cycle

  • Niels C. R. Räihä
  • Martti Kekomäki


One of the fundamental facts about mammals is that they are intolerant to even modest concentrations of ammonium ion in the cellular environment. Simpler organisms living in a water environment have little problem with nitrogen disposal, since ammonia diffuses freely and is thereby diluted to a very low concentration. During evolution, when a movement from marine to terrestrial environment occurred, a more efficient detoxication mechanism for ammonia was needed, and the formation of urea developed.


Newborn Infant Fetal Liver Human Fetus Urea Synthesis Urea Production 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels C. R. Räihä
    • 1
  • Martti Kekomäki
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and PediatricsFinland
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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