Age-related changes in polyamine biosynthesis after fasting and refeeding

Kiego Yoshinaga, Jin Ishizuka, B. Mark Evers, Courtney M. Townsend, James C. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The effect of aging on ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity and polyamine biosynthesis in the proximal small intestine was studied in two groups of male Fisher 344 rats (young [4-month old] and aged [26- to 27-month old]) using a fasting and refeeding model. In control (nonfasted) rats, levels of polyamines (putrescine, spermidine and spermine) and ODC activity were significantly higher in aged compared with young rats. In aged rats, fasting significantly reduced the levels of putrescine by 41%, spermidine by 23%, and spermine by 11%; however, fasting had no effect on polyamine levels in young rats. ODC activity was decreased 75% in young and 50% in aged rats after fasting compared with the respective age-matched controls. Conversely, 2 h after reinstituting a chow diet increased ODC activity by 17-fold in young rats but only 8-fold in aged rats. Putrescine levels were also increased in both age groups after refeeding; however, similar to ODC activity, these increases were much less in aged rats. In addition, spermidine and spermine levels remained significantly depressed in the aged groups even after 24 h of refeeding. These findings suggest that the normal rigid control of gut polyamine biosynthesis and proliferation noted in young rats is markedly altered with aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • gut mucosa
  • ornithine decarboxylase
  • polyamines
  • proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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