The short-term effect of dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, on both fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis has been investigated in rat hepatocyte cultures. Within 4h following hormone addition to the cultures, a noticeable stimulation of labelled acetate incorporation into fatty acids was observed. Similar behaviour was noticed when [3H]H2O was used as an independent index of the lipogenic activity. In the same cultures, however, cholesterol synthesis from both [14C]acetate or [3H]H2O was significantly reduced by dexamethasone addition. In these conditions, no significative variation of cholesterol synthesis starting from labelled mevalonate was observed.
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