The concentrations of malonyl-CoA, citrate, ketone bodies and long-chain acylcarnitine were measured in freeze-clamped liver samples from fed or starved normal, partially hepatectomized or sham-operated rats. These parameters were used in conjunction with measurements of the concentration of plasma non-esterified fatty acids and the rates of hepatic lipogenesis to obtain correlations between rates of fatty acid delivery to the liver, lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation to ketone bodies and CO2. These correlations indicated that the development of fatty liver after partial hepatectomy is due to an increased partitioning of long-chain acyl-CoA towards acylglycerol synthesis and away from acylcarnitine formation. However, this did not appear to be due to an altered relationship between hepatic malonyl-CoA concentration and acylcarnitine formation. For any concentration of long-chain acylcarnitine, the concentrations of both hepatic and blood ketone bodies were significantly lower in partially hepatectomized rats than in normal or sham-operated animals. This indicated that a lower proportion of the product of beta-oxidation was used for ketone-body formation and more for citrate synthesis in the regenerating liver, especially during the first 24 h after resection. This inference was supported by the changes in hepatic citrate concentrations observed. The high rates of lipogenesis that occurred in the liver remnant were accompanied by an altered relationship between lipogenic rate and hepatic malonyl-CoA concentration, such that much lower concentrations of malonyl-CoA were associated with any given rate of lipogenesis. These adaptations are discussed in relation to the requirements by the remnant for high rates of energy formation through the tricarboxylic acid cycle during the first 24 h after resection, and the possibility that cycling between fatty acid oxidation and synthesis may occur to a greater degree in regenerating liver.

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