The possibility that α-difluoromethylornithine, a specific, irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase could be used to prevent the rise in hepatic putrescine and spermidine content following partial hepatectomy was tested. Administration of α-difluoromethylornithine at a dose of 400 mg/kg every 4 h reduced hepatic putrescine to <2 nmol/g, but had only a small effect on the rise in spermidine seen at 28 h after partial hepatectomy. Such treatment also reduced the rise in DNA synthesis produced by partial hepatectomy by up to 70%. The inhibitory effect towards DNA synthesis could be reversed by administration of putrescine which increased the hepatic putrescine content to about 30-40% of that in the regenerating control livers. These results suggest that accumulation of putrescine rather than spermidine is needed for DNA synthesis after partial hepatectomy. They also suggest that part, but not all of the rise in putrescine normally seen in the liver after partial hepatectomy is needed for the enhanced DNA synthesis associated with liver regeneration. Experiments with lower doses of α-difluoromethylornithine showed that a substantial part of the rise in hepatic ornithine decarboxylase activity could be abolished without affecting either the rise in spermidine content or the increase in DNA synthesis after partial hepatectomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology