Perfused rat heart incorporated L-[14C]tyrosine into protein at a constant rate for up to 75 min. A purified bovine growth-hormone preparation (1 mug/ml) stimulated the incorporation to a new constant rate that was more than three times the control rate by 10 min after hormone addition to perfusate. The hormone, however, did not alter the intracellular tracer amino acid pool, and the relationship of this to the aminoacyl-tRNA precursor pool is discussed. It is concluded that the increased incorporation largely reflected a rapid increase in protein synthesis at the ribosomes. Measurements of cyclic nucleotide contents during the perfusion showed that these appeared to vary in a systematic way during the perfusion. This strands in contrast with the constant values given by several other parameters measured in this preparation. Futher, the cyclic nucleotide variation seems to be independent of external effectors. The steady-state performance of the heart correlates more closely the [cyclic AMP]/[cyclic GMP] ratio than with the content of the individual cyclic nucleotides. At 10 min after the addition of growth hormone a slight decrese in cyclic AMP content and a large decrease in cyclic GMP were found, suggesting that the hormone's effect in stimulating protein synthesis may be mediated by a decrease in cyclic nucleotide concentrations or an increase in the [cyclic AMP]/[cyclic |p] ratio. The findings are also consistent with an intracellularly directed role for these nucleotides, and the possibility that the cyclic nucleotide changes are an indirect result of growth-hormone action is discussed.

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