Rat liver glycogen metabolism in the perinatal period

Nava Bashan, Yael Gross, Shimon Moses, Alisa Gutman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The correlation between blood glucose levels, the concentration of glycogen, the activities of glycogen sythase and phosphorylase and their respective kinases and phosphatases was examined in liver of rat fetuses between day 18 of gestation and one day after birth. Between day 18 and 21 there is a rapid increase in the concentration of glycogen and in the activity of synthase a and a much slower increase in the activity of phosphorylase a. The activity of the respective kinases increased rapidly during this period and reached maximun on day 21. The activity of synthase phosphatase and phosphorylase phosphatase increased after day 18, to reach a maximum on day 19 and 20, respectively, but decreased again towards day 21. The possibility that the changes in glycogen concentration and enzyme activities were related to an effect of glucose of AMP on the respective phosphatases was considered. It was found that the Km of phosphatase for glucose in the prenatal period was 5-7 mM, as in the adult. Since the level of blood glucose during this period was constant (2.8 mM), an effect of glucose on phosphatase activity seems unlikely. AMP concentration increased between day 18 and 21 from 6-15 nmol/g. In view of the low level of phosphorylase a activity during this period, the increase in AMP concentration is not considered to be important in the regulation of glycogen breakdown at this time. Immediately after birth blood glucose levels dropped to 5 mg/dl. This was accompanied by a rapid decrease in glycogen concentration and in the activity of glycogen synthase and a rise in phosphorylase activity. Blood glucose levels returned to the initial level within 1 h after birth, whereas the changes in glycogen concentration and enzyme activities continued for at least 3 h after birth. On day 22 all parameters examined had reached the level found in adult rat liver. It is suggested that the rapid changes observed immediately after birth are due to an effect of hypoglycemia mediated by hormones and cannot be ascribed to direct effects of metabolites on the enzyme systems involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Oct 1979
Externally publishedYes


  • (Rat liver)
  • Glycogen phosphorylase
  • Glycogen synthase
  • Perinatal change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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