oa Agrochemophysica - Deoxyribonucleic acid and protein synthesis in regenerating livers from zinc-deficient rats

Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0302-7112



Groups of female rats were fed either a zinc-deficient or a control diet for 3 days prior to partial hepatectomy. Thereafter, protein and DNA synthesis were studied by measuring the incorporation of C-leucine and H-thymidine into the protein and DNA fractions respectively, of the regenerating livers. Protein synthesis was not affected up to 20 h postoperatively, but by 48 h it had fallen by approximately 30% in the deficient animals. Both the total free leucine and the percentage of C leucine in the regenerating livers varied with time after surgery but did not differ significantly between zinc-deficient and control rats, which suggests that the reduction in protein synthesis in the deficient rats was not due to a shortage of available precursor amino acids. DNA synthesis was significantly reduced by 15 to 33% in the deficient animals between 17 � and 25 h post-operatively and it is suggested that this represents the primary lesion associated with zinc deficiency in rats. In addition, the observation that the time of maximum DNA synthesis (S-phase) was delayed by approximately 7 � h (from 17 � to 25 h) in the deficient animals has a profound significance in the interpretation of data relating zinc status to DNA synthesis.

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