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Eur J Clin Invest. 1994 Feb;24(2):137-48.

Regulation of VLDL secretion in primary culture of rat hepatocytes: involvement of cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinases.

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Metabolic Research Laboratory, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK.


When hepatocytes were cultured for 24 h in the presence of forskolin (10(-4) mol l-1) or isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX, 10(-3) mol l-1), the intracellular cAMP concentration peaked (320-380 pmol mg-1 protein) after 10-20 min of culture. This increase was accompanied by a decrease in the secretion of triacylglycerol, cholesterol and apoprotein B associated with VLDL. After 4 h cAMP levels had returned almost to basal values but the inhibition of VLDL secretion persisted. There was a small intracellular accumulation of triacylglycerol but not of apoprotein B. Addition of forskolin and IBMX together led to a further increase in intracellular cAMP and a further suppression of VLDL output. Similar effects on the secretion of VLDL were also observed after addition of Bt2cAMP. Exposure of cell cultures to glucagon (10(-7) mol l-1) for only 10 min raised cellular cAMP levels to > 200 pmol mg-1 protein, and suppressed VLDL secretion during the next 24 h to < 40% of control. All of the substances tested inhibited de novo synthesis of fatty acids but had little or no effect on cholesterol synthesis and did not inhibit oleate esterification to triacylglycerol. The cAMP-dependent protein kinase antagonist Rp-cAMPS prevented suppression of VLDL triacylglycerol secretion induced by glucagon (10(-7) mol l-1) and abolished glucagon-induced ketogenesis. Rp-cAMPS also inhibited Bt2cAMP (7.5 x 10(-6) mol l-1)-induced suppression of VLDL secretion and enhancement of ketogenesis. It is concluded that rat hepatic VLDL metabolism can be regulated by cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinases, and that the initial transient rise in cellular cAMP levels induced by glucagon is sufficient to maintain a long-term inhibitory effect on assembly and secretion of VLDL.

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