Activities of branched-chain amino acid transaminase were assayed in maternal skeletal muscle, liver and fetal skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, liver, kidney and placenta obtained from fed and 5-day-fasted late gestation ewes. Very high activities were found in placenta; fetal skeletal muscle also had high activity. Fetal brain had intermediate activity, followed by cardiac muscle and kidney. Fetal liver possessed negligible activity. Activities were low in both maternal liver and skeletal muscle. Trends were seen for fasting to increase activities in fetal placenta, skeletal muscle, brain, kidney, heart and maternal liver, but these changes were statistically significant only for fetal brain and placental tissue. Fetal skeletal muscle activity was 100 times that of maternal skeletal muscle. These data imply differences in the metabolism of the branched-chain amino acids by fetal and adult ruminants and expand the thesis that branched-chain amino acids are important to the metabolism of the ovine fetus.
- Branched-chain amino acid transaminase
- Ovine fetal metabolism
- Pregnant ewes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology