Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) is first detected in the liver of 21-day-gestation rats. Activity increases after birth, and in 10-day-postnatal rats it is about equal to that observed in the adult. The developmental pattern for the enzyme is reflected in the level of its mRNA determined by hybridization to 32P-cDNA, which is specific for PAH. Studies with cultured adult hepatocytes reveal that the addition of dexamethasone and dibutyryl cAMP to the medium maximizes the yield of enzyme. Hepatocytes derived from 21-day-gestation rats will produce enzyme in cultures maintained in medium supplemented with dexamethasone and dibutyryl cAMP. However, less mature cells, taken from 19-day-gestation rats do not produce measurable levels of enzyme activity. The relative amounts of PAH mRNA in the respective cultures reflect the level of PAH activity. Interestingly, after 3 days of culture, 19-day-gestation hepatocytes can be shown to express PAH mRNA. Therefore, with respect to the expression of PAH, we conclude that 19-day-gestation liver cells will differentiate during culture.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|