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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Studies on the metabolism of retinol-binding protein by primary hepatocytes from retinol-deficient rats.

Studies were conducted to explore the regulation of retinol-binding protein ( RBP) metabolism in cultured primary hepatocytes from retinol-deficient rats. Newly isolated hepatocytes from retinol-deficient rats contained elevated levels (3.4-fold) of RBP, compared to hepatocytes from normal (retinol-adequate) rats. Addition of retinol to retinol-depleted hepatocytes stimulated RBP secretion by the cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Maximal stimulation of RBP secretion was seen with a retinol level of 0.3 micrograms/ml. The effect of retinol was quite rapid, and was evident by 20 minutes after addition of retinol to the medium. Stimulation of RBP secretion was only seen during the first few hours after retinol addition. The effect of retinol was specific for RBP; thus, retinol had no effect on the secretion rates of transthyretin or albumin. Addition of retinoic acid also stimulated RBP secretion by retinol-deficient hepatocytes. Addition of dexamethasone to retinol-deficient cells did not maintain the initial rate of RBP secretion. Dexamethasone also had no effect on the secretion of transthyretin or albumin by these cells. The effects of retinol and of dexamethasone seen here with retinol-depleted cells differed dramatically from effects seen in other studies with normal (retinol-adequate) hepatocytes. Thus, with normal cells, dexamethasone maintains RBP, TTR, and albumin production and secretion rates close to initial rates. Also in normal hepatocytes, with ample retinol available within the cell, addition of exogenous retinol does not appear to influence RBP secretion. In contrast, and as shown previously in intact rats, in retinol deficiency the availability of retinol specifically regulates the secretion of RBP by hepatocytes.[1]


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