Alterations in nutritional status affect hepatic cytochrome P450 levels. Since cytochromes P450 participate in the metabolism of arachidonic acid, we hypothesized that changes in liver P450 arachidonic acid metabolism occur during fasting and refeeding. Male Fisher 344 rats were either fed, fasted 48 hr (F48), fasted 48 hr and then refed 6 hr (F48/R6), or fasted 48 hr and then refed 24 hr (F48/R24). F48 rats had reduced body weight, increased plasma β-hydroxybutyrate, and reduced plasma insulin compared with the other groups. Although there was no significant change in total liver P450 content, there was a significant 20%, 48%, and 24% reduction in total hepatic microsomal arachidonic acid metabolism in F48, F48/R6, and F48/R24 rats, respectively, compared with fed rats. Epoxygenase activity decreased by 28%, 51%, and 26% in F48, F48/R6, and F48/R24 rats, respectively. In contrast, ω-1 hydroxylase activity increased by 126% in F48 rats compared with fed rats. Immunoblotting revealed that levels of CYP2C11 protein were markedly reduced, whereas levels of CYP2E1 protein were markedly increased in the F48 and F48/R6 groups. In contrast, levels of CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP2B1, CYP2J3, CYP4A1, and CYP4A3 were unchanged with fasting/refeeding. Northern blots revealed that levels of CYP2C11 mRNAs were decreased, whereas CYP2E1 mRNAs were increased in F48 and F48/R6 rats. Recombinant CYP2C11 metabolized arachidonic acid primarily to epoxides with preference for the 14(S),15(R)-, 11(R),12(S)-, and 8(S),9(R)- epoxyeicosatrienoic acid enantiomers. We conclude that (1) nutritional status affects hepatic microsomal arachidonic acid metabolism, (2) reduced epoxygenase activity in F48 and F48/R6 rats is accompanied by decreased levels of CYP2C11, (3) increased ω-1 hydroxylase activity is accompanied by augmented levels of CYP2E1, and (4) the effects of fasting on CYP2C11 and CYP2E1 expression occur at the pretranslational level.
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