Mitochondrial preparations isolated from neonatal swine hepatocytes show a marked increase in oxidative and concomitant phosphorylative capacity between birth and 2 days postpartum. There are no changes in the coupling parameters (respiratory control ratio and adenosine diphosphate/O ratio) with age. Changes in sedimentation properties in a sucrose gradient suggest qualitative changes in the mitochondria. Some of the lipid measurements (increased phospholipid) might be interpreted as supportive of this suggestion, although most could also be regarded as indicative of quantitative changes (increased number of mitochondria). Electron microscopy of isolated mitochondria and of the hepatocyte demonstrated an increased number of mitochondria but no change in shape, size, or structure as the pig developed. An increase in a number of cytoplasmic components (Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum) and a decrease in glycogen were also observed. The functional changes in mitochondria seem to occur within a short period of time (6–12 hr postpartum).

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