Hepatic mitochondrial and peroxisomal oxidative capacities were studied in young (4-5 weeks old) and adult (6-9 months old) lean and obese ob/ob mice that were fed or starved for 24 or 48 h. The adult obese mice showed elevated capacity for mitochondrial oxidation (ng-atoms of O consumed/min per mg of protein) of lipid and non-lipid substrates, with the exception of pyruvate + malate, and elevated activities of citrate synthase and total carnitine palmitoyltransferase. Oxidative rates and enzyme activities were not affected by starvation of lean or obese mice, and both males and females responded similarly. Peroxisomal palmitoyl-CoA oxidation (nmol/min per mg of peroxisomal protein) was also increased in livers of adult obese mice and did not change with starvation. In young mice, hepatic mitochondrial and peroxisomal oxidative capacities in lean and obese mice were comparable. The increased mitochondrial and peroxisomal oxidative capacities appear to develop with maturation in obese ob/ob mice.

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