The molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic control of fat development in humans and livestock species still require characterization. To gain insights on gene expression patterns associated with genetic propensity for adiposity, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT) transcriptomics profiles from two contrasted pig breeds for body fatness were compared. Samples were obtained from Large White (LW; lean phenotype) and Basque pigs (B; low growth and high fat content) at 35 kg (n = 5 per breed) or 145 kg body weight (n = 10 per breed). Using a custom adipose tissue microarray, 271 genes were found to be differentially expressed between the two breeds at both stages, out of which 123 were highly expressed in LW pigs and 148 genes were highly expressed in B pigs. Functional enrichment analysis based on gene ontology (GO) terms highlighted gene groups corresponding to the mitochondrial energy metabolism in LW pigs, whereas immune response was found significantly enriched in B pigs. Genes associated with lipid metabolism, such as ELOVL6, a parameter involved in fatty acid elongation, had a lower expression in B compared with LW pigs. Furthermore, despite enlarged adipocyte diameters and higher plasma leptin concentration, B pigs displayed reduced lipogenic enzyme activities compared with LW pigs at 145 kg. Altogether, our results suggest that the development of adiposity was associated with a progressive worsening of the metabolic status leading to a low-grade inflammatory state, and may thus be of significant interest for both livestock production and human health.
- lipid metabolism
- Copyright © 2012, Physiological Genomics