To study the effect of intraabdominal sepsis on hepatic protein synthesis, male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent celiotomy with either cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) or sham operation. Eight and sixteen hours later total hepatic protein synthesis was measured by flooding dose technique. Specific synthetic rates of structural or secreted hepatic proteins were further studied 16 hr after CLP in an isolated perfused liver model. Total hepatic protein synthesis was significantly elevated at 16 hr (59 ± 6%/day vs 37 ± 6%/day, P < 0.05), but not 8 hr post-CLP. Structural hepatic protein synthesis was unchanged after CLP; however, the synthetic rates of the acute-phase secretory proteins α1-acid glycoprotein, transferrin and complement component C3 were significantly increased 16 hr after CLP. However, the albumin synthetic rate was not increased during sepsis. We conclude that sepsis causes augmentation of hepatic protein synthesis primarily to increase acute-phase proteins for host defense.
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