1. The powerful anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid triamcinolone acetonide, administered to rats at 20 and 2.5mg/kg, leads to a decrease in the incorporation in vivo of [3H]uridine and [32P]orthophosphate into hind-limb skeletal muscle. 2. At the higher dose, this decrease in the rate of incorporation of precursors into RNA precedes a decrease in the incorporating ability of muscle ribosomes, which commences about 4–5h after drug administration, but is unaccompanied by any changes in the concentration of tissue ATP or free amino acids. 3. The ribosomal dysfunction extends to polyribosomes, which can only be successfully isolated from the muscle of triamcinolone-treated animals after the addition of α-amylase to the tissue homogenate to remove glycogen. 4. The specific radioactivity of muscle protein labelled in vivo with 14C-labelled amino acids does not decrease progressively after triamcinolone administration. After 2h there is an apparent stimulation of incorporation which leads to an overall discrepancy between measurements of protein-synthetic activity made in vivo and in vitro. 5. There is a significant increase in muscle-glycogen concentration between 8 and 12h after the administration of triamcinolone acetonide (20mg/kg), although a significant decrease occurs after 4h. The fall in glycogen concentration may be due to a decrease in the rate of synthesis of protein essential for glucose uptake into the tissues. 6. As judged by (a) incorporation of 14C-labelled amino acids into protein, (b) [3H]uridine and [32P]-orthophosphate incorporation into RNA, (c) the rate of induction of tryptophan pyrrolase and (d) changes in the pool sizes of taurine and tryptophan, the responses in liver followed the same time-course as those in muscle after administration of the drug.
- © 1970 The Biochemical Society