The activity of phosphorylase a was measured in isolated hepatocytes from fed lean and ob/ob mice after addition of vasopressin, angiotensin, phenylephrine and glucagon. The binding of these hormones to purified liver plasma membranes was also determined. In hepatocytes of ob/ob mice, no increase in phosphorylase a was measured after addition of vasopressin, whereas the other hormones promoted an increase in the activity of the enzyme. No specific vasopressin receptors could be measured on purified liver plasma membrane of ob/ob mice. A decrease in the number of receptors for angiotensin and glucagon, without modification of the affinity, was also observed. No restoration of the number of vasopressin receptors was observed in liver of ob/ob mice starved for 3 days or in younger (5-6 weeks) animals. Vasopressin receptors and vasopressin-stimulated adenylate cyclase, measured on purified kidney medulla membranes, were similar in both lean and ob/ob mice. The data indicate a selective lack of vasopressin receptors and metabolic response in liver of the ob/ob mouse.

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