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Plasmodium berghei gluconeogenesis in the infected mouse liver studied by carbon 13 nmr



Plasmodium berghei gluconeogenesis in the infected mouse liver studied by carbon 13 nmr



Experimental Parasitology 59(3): 364-374



Using 13C NMR, we have compared the gluconeogenic activity of perfused livers isolated from normal starved mice and mice highly parasitized with P. berghei, using [2-13P]pyruvate as substrate. In both types of livers, 13C labeling of glucose carbons occurred in positions 1, 2, 5, and 6. The equal proportions of [1,6-13C]- and [2,5-13C]glucose in livers from malarial and normal mice suggests that pyruvate enters the gluconeogenic pathway directly and, to an equal extent, via the tricarboxylic acid cycle. The normalized signal heights indicated that at a given time after the addition of [2-13C]pyruvate the degree of 13C labeling in glucose carbons was reduced in livers from malarial animals, when compared to livers from normal animals. During the course of the perfusion experiment, the [2-13C]lactate resonance signal was always more intense from livers of malarial animals than from normal animals. A reduced activity of hepatic gluconeogenesis in malarial animals was further confirmed by a separate set of perfusion experiments which showed a 56% reduction of the measured rate of glucose production in livers from malarial animals with respect to that of normal animals. A lowered NAD/NADH ratio in livers from malarial animals would explain the increased proportion of lactate observed in the spectra and be related to a decreased gluconeogenic rate. A more reduced oxidoreduction level in the hepatocytes of a malarial animal would result from a defect in the oxidative phosphorylation activity of mitochondria.

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