Liver tissue was obtained from 5 cases of clinical Johne's disease by biopsy and analysed for total nitrogen, protein nitrogen, “collagen”, lipid, nucleic acids, acid-soluble ribonucleotides and ATP. Comparisons were made with liver tissue from healthy cows. The only significant changes in chemical composition were a small rise in liver lipid content and a marked increase in tissue hydroxyproline, indicating increased connective tissue and suggesting early fibrosis.

The in-vitro rate of protein synthesis was assayed in 2 clinical cases and 3 controls by means of the rate of incorporation of [U-C] leucine into the proteins of liver slices. A higher than normal rate of synthesis was observed in the liver tissue from the cows with clinical Johne's disease but, at the same time, tissue concentrations of three enzymes (glucose-6-phosphatase, hexose monophosphate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase) were lowered.


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