Comparative catabolism of prothrombin and antithrombin in normal and alloxan-diabetic rabbits
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Previous studies have shown that alloxan-induced diabetes in rabbits effects a slower release of plasma proteins from the liver, a slower synthesis of 35S-glycosaminoglycan in the extracellular matrix of the arterial wall, and a concurrent reduction in the fractional catabolic rates of several plasma proteins. In the present study, the catabolism of two hemostatic proteins, prothrombin and antithrombin, are compared in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits (of 6 months' duration) and age-matched control rabbits. Differentially radiolabeled prothrombin and antithrombin were injected intravenously, and arterial blood was sampled over a 7-day period to measure the clearance from plasma. A three-compartment model was used to determine the fractional catabolic rate and compartmental distribution of the two proteins. As observed for other plasma proteins, the whole-body fractional catabolic rates (jt) for prothrombin and antithrombin were significantly less in diabetic rabbits (prothrombin, 0.33 d-1; antithrombin, 0.27 d-1) than in control rabbits (prothrombin, 0.37 d-1; antithrombin, 0.30 d-1; P < .001 and P < .005, respectively). In absolute terms, the catabolism of antithrombin and prothrombin in diabetic rabbits was 5.1 and 6.2 mg.kg-1.d-1, respectively, equivalent to a molar ratio for antithrombin to prothrombin of 0.94. For the control rabbits, catabolism accounted for 6.3 mg.kg-1.d-1 of antithrombin and 7.3 mg.kg-1.d-1 of prothrombin, equivalent to a molar ratio of 1.01. The fractional distribution of these proteins was not significantly different within the intravascular and extravascular spaces in diabetic and control rabbits. The decreased catabolic rates observed for prothrombin and antithrombin in diabetic rabbits conform with results obtained previously for other plasma proteins, and probably reflect a generally decreased rate of plasma protein production by diabetic rabbit liver compared with control liver.
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