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Liver protein synthesis in physiology and in disease states

De Feo, Pierpaolo; Lucidi, Paola

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: January 2002 - Volume 5 - Issue 1 - p 47-50
Protein and amino acid metabolism

Liver protein synthesis is usually estimated in humans by measuring the synthesis rates of major exported liver proteins. Among these, the synthesis rates of albumin and fibrinogen have been more commonly studied. Recently, it was reported that several physiological stimuli such as physical exercise followed by recovery in the upright position, active and passive ascent to high altitude or life-style habits like vegetarian diet or smoking affect the synthesis rates of albumin and fibrinogen. Among disease states, the most recent literature addresses the effects of kidney diseases (hemodialysis, nephrotic syndrome), type 2 diabetes mellitus and growth hormone administration to critically ill patients and to patients undergoing laparoscopic colecystectomy. The results of these studies have clarified several aspects of the regulation of liver protein synthesis in humans and raise open questions that will stimulate the future research in the area.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Correspondence to Professor Pierpaolo De Feo, DIMISEM, University of Perugia, Via E dal Pozzo, 06126 Italy. Tel: +39 075 578 3632; fax +39 075 573 0855; e-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.