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Origin of ketone bodies from fats and their regulation

, : Origin of ketone bodies from fats and their regulation. Arch Internal Med 68(4): 674-686

Under conditions leading to ketosis acetoacetic acid is the first ketone body to be formed; betahydroxybutyric acid is not a ketone and acetone is a breakdown product of its more physiologically significant precursors. Various mammalian tissues can reduce acetoacetic acid to betahydroxybutyric acid and can also effect the reverse action, the direction depending on the conc. of substrates present and on the O2 tension; evidence is at hand that an equilibrium is rapidly established. In balance or recovery expts. it is of practical importance to determine both substances in the tissues in order to account for the fate of a given amt. of either. Acetone is generally assumed to be a spontaneous decomposition product indicating that an equivalent amt. of one of the other ketone bodies was formerly present. The ketone bodies are probably normal intermediates of fatty acid catabolism in the liver, appearing in excess in the blood whenever the hepatic metabolism of fat is sufficiently speeded up, either by a lack of carbohydrate substrate or by a disturbance in the normal regulation of the substrate mixture. The ketone bodies are readily utilized by the peripheral tissues, under practically all known conditions. Future work will have to determine how the derivation of energy from fat under various conditions proceeds through these physiologically important substances.


DOI: 10.1001/archinte.1941.00200100013002

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