The contribution of pyruvate to ketogenesis was determined in rat hepatocyte suspensions by using [14C]pyruvate. The rates of conversion of pyruvate into ketone bodies in hepatocytes from fed and 24 h-starved rats were 10 and 17 mumol/h per g wet wt. respectively, and accounted for 50 and 29% of the total ketone bodies formed. In hepatocytes from fed rats, the addition of palmitate (0.25-1 mM) increased the rate of conversion of pyruvate into ketone bodies (80-140%), but decreased the relative contribution of pyruvate to total ketogenesis. In hepatocytes from starved rats, palmitate did not increase pyruvate conversion into ketone bodies.

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