The metabolism of [2-3H]lactate and [2-3H]glycerol was studied in isolated hepatocytes from fed rats. In order to estimate the rate of equilibrium between the 4A and 4B hydrogen atoms of NADH, we compared the flow of 3H from [2-3H]lactate and [2-3H]glycerol, the oxidations of which are catalysed by A- and B-type dehydrogenases, respectively. Hepatocytes were incubated with lactate, glycerol and ethanol and tracer amounts of [2-3H]lactate or [2-3H]glycerol and the labelling rates of lactate, ethanol, glucose and glycerol phosphate were determined. The data were used to calculate the oxidation rate of NADH catalysed by lactate dehydrogenase, alcohol dehydrogenase, triosephosphate dehydrogenase and glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase. The rates were calculated by obtaining the best fit of a model to the experimental data by using a least-squares procedure. The results support our model and suggest that the fluxes through various dehydrogenases are sufficient to equilibrate the 4A and 4B hydrogen atoms of cytosolic NADH. The validity of the metabolic models used was evaluated by comparison of rates of NADH oxidation catalysed by cytosolic dehydrogenases as calculated by two different models.

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