The metabolic effects of hypobaric hypoxic stress on the mammalian liver were studied. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity of mouse liver homogenates were measured after exposure to an equivalent altitude of 36,000 feet and compared to controls kept at zero altitude. After six and twelve hour incubation periods, the altitude exposed samples demonstrated a significantly higher LDH activity than controls. SDH activity remained unchanged from controls after six hours but was significantly lower than controls after a 12 hour exposure to altitude. It is concluded that the changes in enzyme activity reflect a metabolic control mechanism attempting to maintain adequate energy production during periods of exposure to hypobaric hypoxic stress.

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