In primary cultures of rat hepatocytes, epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and foetal-calf serum (FCS) prevented the stimulation of amino acid transport by glucagon (cyclic AMP-dependent) and by catecholamines (cyclic AMP-independent), but not by insulin. The insulin effect, as well as the effect of other hormones, were totally inhibited by thrombin through a mechanism independent of its proteolytic activity. The inhibitory effect of growth factors, not found in freshly isolated hepatocytes, was expressed very early in culture (4h). Induction of tyrosine aminotransferase by glucagon or dexamethasone, which, like stimulation of transport, represents a late hormonal effect, was not affected by EGF, PDGF or FCS, but was inhibited by thrombin. In contrast, none of the rapid changes in protein phosphorylation caused by hormones was altered by growth factors. Thus the inhibition by growth factors of hormonal stimulation of transport presumably involves late step(s) in the cascade of events implicated in this hormonal effect.

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