Development and regulation of ketogenesis in hepatocytes isolated from newborn rats

Biochem J. 1983 Sep 15;214(3):937-42. doi: 10.1042/bj2140937.


The development of fatty acid metabolism was studied in isolated hepatocytes from newborn rats. Ketone-body production from oleate is increased 6-fold between 0 and 16 h after birth. This increase is related to an enhanced beta-oxidation rather than to a channeling of acetyl-CoA from the tricarboxylic acid cycle to ketone-body synthesis. The increase in oleate oxidation is not related to a decreased esterification rate, as the latter is already low at birth and does not decrease further. At birth, lipogenic rate is 2-3-fold lower than in fed adult rats and it decreases to undetectable values in 16 h-old rats. A 90% inhibition of lipogenesis in hepatocytes of newborn rats (0 h) by glucagon and 5-(tetradecyloxy)-2-furoic acid does not lead to an increased oxidation of non-esterified fatty acids. This suggests that the inverse relationship between lipogenesis and ketogenesis in the starved newborn rat is not responsible for the switch-on of fatty acid oxidation at birth. Moreover, ketogenesis from octanoate, a medium-chain fatty acid the oxidation of which is independent of carnitine acyltransferase, follows the same developmental pattern at birth as that from oleate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / metabolism*
  • Caprylates / metabolism
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ketone Bodies / biosynthesis*
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid
  • Lipids / biosynthesis
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Oleic Acid
  • Oleic Acids / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Caprylates
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Lactates
  • Lipids
  • Oleic Acids
  • Oleic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • octanoic acid