Horm Metab Res 1986; 18(7): 446-449
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1012342

© Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart · New York

Rat Acetoacetate Decarboxylase: Its Role in the Disposal of 4C-Ketone Bodies by the Fetus

F. J. López-Soriano, J. M. Argilés
  • Fisiologia General, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
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Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


21-day pregnant rats show high tissular and plasmatic acetone concentrations when submitted to a 48-hr fast. This rise is, in fact, associated with an enhanced placental and fetal acetoacetate decarboxylase activity. We propose that acetone formation by the fetus could be a mechanism for pH maintenance and that acetoacetate decarboxylase can play a significant role in the handling of 4C-ketone bodies under conditions in which the substrate concentration cannot easily be controlled by other physiological mechanisms.