The `8+16' feeding schedule (8h feeding and 16h without food in each 24h cycle) was applied to nursing mother rats to study enzyme development in neonatal rats in the absence of solid food. A `16+8' suckling schedule (16h with the mother and 8h while the mother is fed in a separate cage) was used to show that the increases in pyruvate kinase, glucokinase and aldolase B activities that occur in the late suckling period of liver development do not require the intake of solid food at this time. Their activities may, however, be modulated by the composition of the diet at the time of weaning. Adaptation to the composition of the diet can occur within one feeding period, and to the periodicity of food provision in one or two feeding periods. In the early neonatal period, diurnal rhythms of tyrosine aminotransferase, liver glycogen and glucokinase are either greatly suppressed or absent, but develop rapidly after weaning. Food-dependent rhythms of glycogen and tyrosine aminotransferase were included in the late suckling period (day 14).
Parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells were isolated from adult rat liver that had been fully regenerated after a 70% partial hepatectomy. The characteristics of the parenchymal cell preparations from regenerated rat liver indicated that they were a homogeneous population and comparable with parenchymal cells isolated from intact liver. The parenchymal cells from regenerated adult rat liver contain glucokinase, hexokinase, pyruvate kinase type I and aldolase B. The non-parenchymal cells contain hexokinase, pyruvate kinase type III and aldolase B. When cells were isolated at different times of the day from rats on controlled feeding schedules, variation of tyrosine aminotransferase activity and liver glycogen content were observed in the parenchymal cells in keeping with the reported diurnal oscillations found in whole liver extracts. When parenchymal cells were isolated from rats 48 and 72h after partial hepatectomy, different isoenzyme patterns were observed. These cells appeared to synthesize pyruvate kinase type III, a function that was assigned previously to non-parenchymal cells or to foetal rat liver hepatocytes.
Intact rats trained on a controlled feeding and lighting schedule designated ‘8+16’ exhibited diurnal oscillations in liver weight, glucokinase activity and liver glycogen content. Glucokinase activity expressed as units/g of liver decreased to 30% of that from unoperated controls during the first 48h after partial hepatectomy and returned to near normal values in 2 weeks. When the glucokinase activity was expressed as units/liver per 100g body wt., a decrease to 50% of control activity was observed between 24 and 48h after the operation. A similar pattern was found for pyruvate kinase type I. In contrast, pyruvate kinase type III activity increased after partial hepatectomy. It is suggested that the newly divided cells after partial hepatectomy do not synthesize glucokinase and pyruvate kinase I but do synthesize pyruvate kinase III. Glycogen was found to accumulate as early as 24h after partial hepatectomy, and normal concentrations were reached after 48h if the operation was performed at times other than during the feeding periods.