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J Biol Chem. 1985 Oct 15;260(23):12748-53.

The interaction between the cytosolic pyridine nucleotide redox potential and gluconeogenesis from lactate/pyruvate in isolated rat hepatocytes. Implications for investigations of hormone action.


By using very low concentrations of cells to minimize alterations in substrate concentrations, we demonstrated that the lactate/pyruvate ratio of the incubation medium, which determines the cytosolic NADH/NAD+ ratio, affects gluconeogenic flux in suspensions of isolated hepatocytes from fasted rats. At a fixed extracellular pyruvate concentration of 1 mM and with the lactate/pyruvate ratio varied from 0.6 to 10 and to 50, glucose production rates increased from 2.5 to 5.5 and then decreased to 1.8 nmol/mg of cell protein/min. This finding paralleled the observation of Sugano et al. (Sugano, T., Shiota, M., Tanaka, T., Miyamae, Y., Shimada, M., and Oshino, N. (1980) J. Biochem. (Tokyo) 87, 153-166) who noted a similar biphasic response in the perfused liver system when lactate was held constant and pyruvate varied. The biphasic relationship can be explained by the influence of the NADH/NAD+ ratio on the near-equilibrium reactions catalyzed by glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and malate dehydrogenase in the hepatocyte cytosol. By shifting the equilibrium of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase reaction, a rise in the NADH/NAD+ ratio decreases the concentration of 3-phosphoglycerate which, because of the linkage of 3-phosphoglycerate to phosphoenolpyruvate through two near-equilibrium reactions, reduces the concentration of phosphoenolpyruvate and therefore causes a decline in flux through pyruvate kinase. This decrease in pyruvate kinase flux results in an enhanced gluconeogenic flux. At higher NADH/NAD+ ratios, however, the oxalacetate concentration drops to such an extent that the consequent decreased flux through phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase exceeds the decline in flux through pyruvate kinase, producing a decrease in gluconeogenic flux. The lactate/pyruvate ratio was found to influence the actions of three hormones thought to stimulate gluconeogenesis by different mechanisms. Except for an inhibition by glucagon seen at the lowest lactate/pyruvate ratio tested, the stimulations by this hormone were relatively insensitive to lactate/pyruvate ratios, while angiotensin II produced greater stimulations of gluconeogenesis as the lactate/pyruvate ratio was increased. Dexamethasone, added in vitro, stimulated gluconeogenesis significantly only at very low and very high lactate/pyruvate ratios.

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