Brown adipose tissue of the rat has been found to have an unusually high activity of mitohondrial α-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (α-GPD) when assayed both by a histochemical staining procedure and by a quantitative biochemical method with isolated mitochondria. In contrast to succinic, glutamic, and ß-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenases, all mitochondrial enzymes, the activity of α-GPD in brown fat was 10 times that in liver, more than 20 times that in white adipose tissue, and 9 times that in kidney. The soluble NAD-linked α-GPD was also higher in brown adipose tissue than in white adipose tissue, liver, or kidney, but the differences were much less marked. The possible importance of the high activity of mitochondrial α-GPD in the regulation of synthesis of esterified lipid and in thermogenesis in brown fat is discussed.

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