Adrenaline, noradrenaline, vasopressin and angiotensin increased 14CO2 production from [1-14C]oleate by hepatocytes from fed rats but not by hepatocytes from starved rats. The hormones did not increase 14CO2 production when hepatocytes from fed rats were depleted of glycogen in vitro. Increased 14CO2 production from]1-14C]oleate in response to the hormones was observed when hepatocytes from starved rats were incubated with 3-mercaptopicolinate, an inhibitor of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. 3-Mercaptopicolinate inhibited uptake and esterification of [1-14C]oleate, slightly increased 14CO2 production from [1-14C]oleate and greatly increased the [3-hydroxybutyrate]/[acetoacetate] ratio. In the presence of 3-mercaptopicolinate 14CO2 production in response to the catecholamines was blocked by the α-antagonist phentolamine and required extracellular Ca2+. The effects of vasopressin and angiotensin were also Ca2+-dependent. The actions of the hormones of 14CO2 production from [I-14C]oleate by hepatocytes from starved rats in the presence of 3-mercaptopicolinate thus have the characteristics of the response to the hormones found with hepatocytes from fed rats incubated without 3-mercaptopicolinate. The stimulatory effects of the hormones on 14CO2 production from [1-14C]oleate were not the result of decreased esterification (as the hormones increased esterification) or increased β-oxidation. It is suggested that the effect of the hormones to increase 14CO2 production from [1-14C]oleate are mediated by CA2+-activation of NAD+-linked isocitrate dehydrogenase, the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, and/or electron transport. The results also demonstrate that when the supply of oxaloacetate is limited it is utilized for gluconeogenesis rather than to maintain tricarboxylic acid-cycle flux.

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