The tissue distribution of S-adenosylmethionine, S-adenosylhomocysteine, methionine adenosyltransferase and S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase was explored in the rat. Also the effects of methionine administration on the accumulation of S-adenosylmethionine, S-adenosylhomocysteine and polyamines were studied in rat liver, brain and kidney. The tissue distribution of S-adenosylmethionine, S-adenosylhomocysteine, methionine adenosyltransferase and S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase was similar in both sexes, and was only slightly changed with age. The specific activity of S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase greatly exceeded that of methionine adenosyltransferase, and the concentration of S-adenosylmethionine was higher than that of S-adenosylhomocysteine in all tissues examined. However, the hepatic S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio was dependent on food supply and on the age of the animal. No correlation was noticed between the activity of methionine adenosyltransferase and the concentrations of the adenosyl compounds in different tissues. Intraperitoneal administration of methionine resulted in a profound but transient increase in the hepatic concentrations of S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine. The concentration of S-adenosylmethionine was elevated also in the brain during the first 2h after methionine injection. The rise of S-adenosylmethionine concentration after methionine treatment could be diminished by simultaneous glycine administration. The results support the view that the rate-limiting factor of S-adenosylmethionine synthesis is the tissue concentration of methionine. They further suggest that glycine N-methyltransferase may have a regulatory role in the utilization of S-adenosylmethionine in the liver.

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