The ester-hydrolyzing actions of extracts of a number of tissues of rabbits of different ages were studied under comparable conditions.
The ages of the rabbits ranged from 8 days before birth to 2162 days. The esters used included phenyl acetate, glyceryl triacetate, methyl butyrate, benzyl acetate, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, methyl benzoate, ethyl benzoate, and isobutyl acetate. The following tissues were studied: kidney, liver, lung, skin, leg muscle, heart muscle, brain, spleen, stomach, and small intestine.
The results, as in previous communications, are presented in the form of plots for the relative enzyme actions, and in tables for the absolute actions.
The changes in the curves of the relative actions as the rabbits became older are considered in some detail. The relations between the embryonic state of certain tissues, as shown by their enzyme actions, and the adult state, are described, and compared with their physiological behavior. The probable reversion to a type approaching the embryonic for the oldest rabbits studied is indicated with some of the tissues. The changes in the absolute enzyme actions of the tissues as the rabbits became older are also discussed. The absolute actions do not form as regular a progression as do the relative actions but, at the same time, show marked regularities with increasing age of the rabbits.