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Biochem J. 1971 Aug;124(1):249-54.

The course of ketosis and the activity of key enzymes of ketogenesis and ketone-body utilization during development of the postnatal rat.


1. The highest blood concentrations of ketone bodies were found at 5 days of age, after which time the concentration fell to reach the adult value by 30 days of age. 2. Both mitochondrial and cytoplasmic hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase activities were detected, with highest activities being found in the mitochondria at all stages of development. Activity of the mitochondrial enzyme increases rapidly immediately after birth, showing a maximum at 15 days of age, thereafter falling to adult values. The cytoplasmic enzyme, on the other hand, increased steadily in activity after birth to reach a maximum at 40 days of age, after which time activity fell to adult values. 3. Both mitochondrial and cytoplasmic aceto-acetyl-CoA thiolase activities were detected, with the mitochondrial enzyme having considerably higher activities at all stages of development. The developmental patterns for both enzymes were very similar to those for the corresponding hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthases. 4. The activity of heart acetoacetyl-CoA transferase remains constant from late foetal life until the end of the suckling period, after which time there is a gradual threefold increase in activity to reach the adult values. The activity of brain 3-oxo acid CoA-transferase increases steadily after birth, reaching a maximum at 30 days of age, thereafter decreasing to adult values, which are similar to foetal activities. Although at all stages of development the specific activity of the heart enzyme is higher than that of brain, the total enzymic capacity of the brain is higher than that of the heart during the suckling period.

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