Send to

Choose Destination
Carcinogenesis. 1990 Dec;11(12):2199-204.

Effect of lead nitrate on liver carbohydrate enzymes and glycogen content in the rat.

Author information

Abteilung für Cytopathologie, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, FRG.


Male Wistar rats were given a single i.v. injection of lead nitrate (10 mumol/100 g body wt) and were killed with matched controls 24, 48, 72 h and 20 days after the treatment. Changes of liver carbohydrate metabolism were studied histochemically testing the following parameters: glycogen content, activities of glycogen synthase (SYN), glycogen phosphorylase (PHO), glucose-6-phosphatase (G6PASE), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). In addition, gammaglutamyltransferase (GGT) activity was demonstrated. Between 24 and 48 h after lead nitrate injection there was a nearly complete loss of liver glycogen. Seventy-two hours later the polysaccharide reappeared in single hepatocytes and after 20 days the livers of the lead-treated animals not only had replenished their glycogen stores but contained even more glycogen than the matched controls. SYN and PHO activities were diminished from 24 to 72 h, but returned to control values after 20 days. G6PASE and GGT remained elevated up to 72 h before dropping to normal at 20 days after treatment. The pentose phosphate pathway enzymes G6PDH and 6PGDH showed the most remarkable changes in livers treated with lead nitrate. G6PDH was already elevated at 24 h, but only in Kupffer cells. At 48 and 72 h, when hepatocytes exhibited a highly increased mitotic rate, the levels of G6PDH, 6PGDH and GAPDH were elevated. After 20 days dehydrogenase activities were comparable to those of controls. The results of this study suggest that a single dose of lead nitrate not only stimulates proliferation of hepatocytes but also induces considerable changes in rat liver carbohydrate metabolism, especially between 24 and 72 h after administration. During that period glycogen metabolism undergoes a strong reduction, whereas gluconeogenesis and particularly the pentose phosphate pathway respond with a remarkable increase. This metabolic profile is most likely associated with lead biotransformation as well as with liver cell proliferation. It corresponds only partially to that found in preneoplastic and neoplastic liver lesions observed in chemical carcinogenesis, and is reversible, in contrast to the persistent alterations associated with neoplastic transformation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center