Regulation of In Vitro Metabolism of Palmitate by Carnitine and Propionate in Liver from Dairy Cows

J. K. Drackley, D. C. Beitz, J. W. Young

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Regulation of in vitro palmitate metabolism by carnitine and propionate was investigated in liver obtained by biopsy from fasted nonlactating cows and from cows during early lactation. Liver slices from nonlactating cows during a 7-d fast esterified less palmitate than those from the same cows before fasting. Carnitine added in vitro increased hepatic oxidation and decreased esterification of palmitate in fed cows, but effects of carnitine were less during fasting. Propionate added in vitro decreased oxidation of palmitate; the effect was greater during fasting. In liver slices from cows during early lactation, carnitine increased oxidation and total utilization of palmitate and decreased palmitate esterification. Addition of tetradecylglycidic acid, an inhibitor of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I, prevented the carnitine-induced changes in palmitate metabolism. Substantial carnitine-independent oxidation of palmitate was observed in the presence of tetradecylglycidic acid. Tetradecylglycidic acid decreased esterification of palmitate to triglycerides but increased esterification to diglycerides. Effects of tetradecylglycidic acid and either propionate or pyruvate on palmitate oxidation were additive, indicating that propionate and pyruvate affect palmitate oxidation at sites other than carnitine palmitoyltransferase I. No interactions were detected between carnitine and propionate, but both compounds were potent regulators of palmitate metabolism in liver slices from cows during early lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3014-3024
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1991


  • ASP
  • BSA
  • CPT-I
  • CoA
  • EP
  • PL + MG
  • TDGA
  • acid-soluble products
  • bovine serum albumin
  • carnitine
  • carnitine palmitoyltransferase I
  • coenzyme A
  • esterified products
  • fatty acids
  • phospholipids plus monoglycerides
  • propionate
  • tetradecylglycidic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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