Development of gluconeogenic enzymes in fetal sheep liver and kidney

Roger E. Stevenson, Frank H. Morriss, Eugene W. Adcock, R. Rodney Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the sheep, the system of enzymes necessary for conversion of nonhexose substrates to glucose becomes active during late fetal life. Glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-diphosphatase, two of the four key gluconeogenic enzymes, appear in significant amounts between 100 and 120 days gestation. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activity is comparable to mature animals as early as 45 days gestation. Two aminotransferases, necessary to allow amino acid access to the gluconeogenic pathway, likewise have substantial activity as early as 45 days gestation. Hence, the surge of glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-diphosphatase at 100-120 days gestation makes possible the endogenous production of new glucose by fetal sheep at a time when the amount of glucose transferred from the maternal circulation is less than the total aerobic substrate utilized by the fetus. Both renal cortex and liver have similar developmental patterns for the gluconeogenic enzymes, although renal cortex generally shows greater activity than liver. This observation holds true for tissue from both fetal and mature animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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