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Lowering of plasma triiodothyronine level and sympathetic activity does not alter hypoalbuminaemia in rats fed on a diet of low protein concentration

  • Ana Lydia Sawaya (a1) and Peter G. Lunn (a1)

Abstract

Previous studies have described high plasma triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations and sympathetic activity in rats fed on low-protein diets. The present investigation examined how the nutritional status of rats fed on a low-protein diet was affected when these hormonal changes were reduced by drug administration. The low-protein diet (LP group) prevented growth, reduced plasma albumin levels, elevated plasma T3 concentration, and increased both the weight of the interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the activity of BAT cytochrome c oxidase (EC 1.9.3.1). Lowering the plasma T3 concentration (with carbimazole; CA group) elevated the plasma insulin concentration, promoted a small increase in the plasma albumin concentration and caused weight gain in comparison with the LP group. Reduction of sympathetic activity (with α-methyl-p-tyrosine; MT group) promoted a small elevation in plasma albumin concentration accompanied by a diminished T3 concentration, BAT weight, and an increase in fat deposition in relation to LP rats. In a second experiment, simultaneous lowering of the plasma T3 concentration and sympathetic activity (CA/MT group) resulted in weight gain associated with elevated plasma insulin concentration and fat deposition and a marked reduction in BAT cytochrome c oxidase activity. However no change in the hypoalbuminaemia was observed. The results of the present study suggest that in spite of the previously described increase in metabolic rate in rats fed on a diet with low-protein concentration when compared with controls, the mechanisms involved in the control of BAT activity and fat deposition seem to be independent of those which cause liver protein depletion and hypoalbuminaemia.

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References

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