Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH), malic enzyme (ME) and isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH) were investigated with optimized histochemical methods (Rieder et al. 1978), and the activity of 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase (3HBDH) and neutral fat content with conventional techniques in the liver of male rats under the following experimental dietary conditions: (A) Fasting for 0, 12 and 84 h; (B) 84-h fasting followed by refeeding with a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for 6 h and for 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 and 14 nights; (C) refeeding with standard diet for 5 nights; (D) low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for 7 and 14 nights. The activities of G6PDH, 6PGDH and ME decreased slightly during fasting primarily in zone 1 and increased dramatically on refeeding with a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. This activity increase was confined mainly to zone 3 during the first 3 days and was accompanied by a deposition of neutral fats that began in zone 3 and progressed to zone 1. Neutral fat accumulation was maximal after 3 nights, with a uniform accumulation of large droplets in all the hepatocytes; this was followed by a release that started in zone 3 and proceeded in a periportal direction. On the other hand, G6PDH, 6PGDH and ME attained their maximum activities after 5 and 7 nights of the low-fat diet, the activities being nearly homogeneously distributed over the liver acinus in a few cases. Subsequently the activities fell mainly in zone 1, causing the activity patterns and levels to approach those of the animals in group (D). In contrast to this, the activity of ICDH increased during fasting principally in zone 1, so that the otherwise steep activity gradient in favor of zone 3 lessened. Refeeding led at first to a fall of activity below the initial value, but later the normal distribution pattern was restored. The activity of 3HBDH showed a behavior similar to that of ICDH. The findings are discussed with reference to the functional heterogeneity of the liver perenchyma, and the existence of a liponeogenic area in zone 3 is proposed.
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