Abstract

Rates of tyrosine and lysine transport and incorporation into protein were measured in control and undernourished weanling rats. Undernutrition was induced by feeding lactating dams a low protein diet (12 percent casein) from birth to day 21. At weaning, body and brain weights of undernourished rats were 50 percent and 88 percent, respectively, of control values. Lysine and tyrosine transport rates into skeletal muscle were reduced by over 75 percent, more than twice the reduction seen in brain. Rates of amino acid incorporation into muscle protein were reduced by approximately 50 percent; the change in rate of incorporation into brain protein was not statistically significant. These data indicate that, in spite of marked retardation of amino acid transport into brain, the brain seems fully capable of maintaining normal rates of protein synthesis.

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