The release of 14CO2 from [7-14C]orotic acid was measured in isolated perfused normal and regenerating rat livers. With some limitations, the release of 14CO2 from [7-14C]orotic acid can be used to estimate UMP synthesis in perfused livers. Isolated perfused livers rapidly pick up labelled orotic acid added to perfusate and convert most of it into UMP. Perfused regenerating livers produce approx. 2.5 times as much UMP/g of liver as do perfused normal livers. However, the absolute amount of orotic acid converted into UMP is higher in perfused normal livers than in perfused regenerating livers. Perfused regenerating livers do not differ in their orotic acid uptake and UMP synthesis from livers of comparable size in which regeneration is not taking place. The total amount of orotic acid taken up by the liver (rather than the rate of uptake) and the size of the liver appear to be the determining factors in UMP production. The results suggest that the decrease in liver size caused by partial hepatectomy may be in itself sufficient to account for an increase in the flow of metabolites in the pyrimidine pathway at the early stages of liver regeneration.
- © 1972 The Biochemical Society