Hexose monophosphate shunt metabolism in sheep: Comparison of fetal, newborn and adult erythrocytes

N. A. Noble, L. H. Kuwashima, W. D. Davidson, P. W. Nathanielsz, K. R. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glucose utilization through the hexose monophosphate shunt was measured in erythrocytes from fetal sheep, newborn lambs and adult pregnant sheep. Fetal erythrocytes demonstrate dramatically increased glucose oxidation in the presence of the oxidant new methylene blue. This response declines by birth and thereafter until adult sheep erythrocytes show no response. No stimulation was observed in adult sheep red cells under a number of conditions, although when adult sheep red cells were separated according to cell age, young cells were found to respond greatly to new methylene blue. When the rate of glucose oxidation after new methylene blue stimulation is correlated with in vitro glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity, a highly significant relationship is seen. This suggests that developmental changes in glucose oxidation by sheep red cells may be due to similar changes in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity. The relationship also suggests that mature adult erythrocytes may be unable to respond to oxidants because of their low glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Developmental Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hexose monophosphate shunt metabolism in sheep: Comparison of fetal, newborn and adult erythrocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this