Galactose Metabolism by Rat Liver Tissue: Influence of Age

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Science  06 Dec 1963:
Vol. 142, Issue 3597, pp. 1311-1313
DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3597.1311


The metabolism of galactose by liver tissue from fetal, new-born, pre-adult, and adult rats was studied in vitro by determining the extent of conversion of galactose to CO2 and the disappearance of the sugar from the incubation medium. Results indicate that the utilization of galactose by liver tissue decreases as the organism grows older. The explanation of the tendency of patients with congenital galactosemia to improve symptomatically with age on the basis of "maturation" of galactose metabolizing pathways in their livers does not appear to be consistent with these observations.