In vitro rates of conversion of [1-14C]leucine to 4-methyl-2-oxo[1-14C]pentanoate and of oxidation of [I-14C] and [U-14C]leucine were measured for tissues from fed and starved (5 days) sheep. Slices of liver and kidney and preparations of adipose tissue and of fibre bundles of external intercostal muscle (EIC) were used. Skeletal muscle is likely the major site of leucine catabolism in sheep although adipose tissue is capable of substantial metabolism. Muscle and adipose tissue from fed sheep released 17 and 5% of the [l-14C ]leucine transaminated as 4-methyl-2-oxo-[1-14C]pentanoate and upon starvation the proportions were increased (P<0.001) to 46 and 32%. Starvation reduced (P<0.01) leucine catabolism in all tissues except the kidney. The pattern of leucine catabolism in EIC muscle changed from extensive oxidation in the fed state to being limited essentially to transamination and decarboxylation in the starved state.
- © 1983 The Biochemical Society