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Effect of diethylstilboestrol on phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis and choline metabolism in the liver of roosters.

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  • Research Article


It has been known for 40 years that oestrogens stimulate phospholipid metabolism in roosters. We have investigated in vivo the mechanism for this effect. Young roosters were injected daily with 1 mg of diethylstilboestrol for 1--3 days. At 4 h after the last injection, 30 microCi of [Me-3H]choline was injected into the portal vein. At periods up to 3 min the livers were freeze-clamped and choline and its metabolites were extracted and resolved by t.l.c. Hormone treatment in the first 2 days resulted in a 2-fold increase in phosphorylation of [Me-3H]choline and a decrease in the oxidation of [Me-3H]choline to [3H]betaine. The concentrations of phosphocholine in liver were increased 2-fold during the first 2 days concomitant with a 2-fold increase in the rate of phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis. After 3 days of hormone treatment, many of the above effects were reversed and the rate of phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis decreased to approx. 60% of the control value. The results suggest that the initial hormone treatments activate choline kinase within 4 h and, thereby, divert choline form oxidation to betaine. The resulting increased phosphocholine concentrations cause an increase in the activity of CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase, which results in a doubling of the rate of phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis. After 3 days of hormone treatment, the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine is decreased, most likely by an effect on the cytidylyltransferase reaction.

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