The rate of protein synthesis was measured in muscles of the perfused rat hemicorpus, and values were compared with rates obtained in whole animals. In gastrocnemius muscle of fed rats the rate of synthesis measured in the hemicorpus was the same as that in the whole animal. However, in plantaris, quadriceps and soleus muscles rates were higher in the hemicorpus than those in vivo. In the hemicorpus, starvation for 1 day decreased the rate of protein synthesis in gastrocnemius and plantaris muscles, in parallel with decreases in the RNA content, but the soleus remained unaffected. Similar effects of starvation were observed in vivo, so that the relationships between rates in vivo and in the hemicorpus were the same as those in fed rats. Proteins of quadriceps and plantaris muscles were separated into sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar fractions. The rate of synthesis in the sarcoplasmic fraction of the hemicorpus from fed rats was similar to that in vivo, but synthesis in the myofibrillar fraction was greater. In the plantaris of starved rats the rates of synthesis in both fractions were lower, but the relationships between rates measured in vivo and in the perfused hemicorpus were similar to those seen in fed rats. The addition of insulin to the perfusate of the hemicorpus prepared from 1-day-starved animals increased the rates of protein synthesis per unit of RNA in gastrocnemius and plantaris muscles to values above those seen in fed animals when measured in vivo or in the hemicorpus. Insulin had no effect on the soleus. Overall, the rates of protein synthesis in the hemicorpus differed from those in vivo. However, the effect of starvation when measured in the whole animal was very similar to that measured in the isolated rat hemicorpus when insulin was omitted from the perfusate.

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