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Amino acid starvation-induced autophagy is involved in reduced subcutaneous fat deposition in weaning piglets derived from sows fed low-protein diet during gestation and lactation : Autophagy is involved in reduced fat deposition in maternal low-protein piglets

Pan, Shifeng, Jia, Yimin, Yang, Xiaojing, Cai, Demin, Liu, Zhiqing, Song, Haogang, Zhao, Ruqian
European journal of nutrition 2018 v.57 no.3 pp. 991-1001
Western blotting, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, amino acids, autophagy, backfat, blood serum, body weight, colorimetry, crude protein, fat thickness, fatty-acid synthase, gene expression, genes, lactation, lipogenesis, lipolysis, low protein diet, males, messenger RNA, metabolites, piglets, pregnancy, progeny, protein synthesis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sows, subcutaneous fat, triacylglycerol lipase, triacylglycerols, weaning
PURPOSE: The study aimed to determine the effects of maternal low-protein (LP) diet on subcutaneous fat deposition of weaning piglets and the potential mechanism. METHODS: Sows were fed either a standard protein (SP, 15 and 18% crude protein) or a LP diet (50% protein levels of SP) throughout pregnancy and lactation. Subcutaneous fat and blood were sampled from male piglets at 28 days of age. Serum biochemical metabolites and hormone concentrations were detected with the enzymatic colorimetric methods. Serum-free amino acid (FAA) levels were measured by amino acid auto-analyzer. The mRNA and protein were measured by qRT-PCR and Western blot. RESULTS: Body weight, back fat thickness, triglycerides concentrations in subcutaneous fat tissue, and serum, as well as FFA concentrations were significantly reduced in LP piglets when compared with SP piglets. Further studies showed that mRNA and protein expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthetase, two key enzymes of de novo lipogenesis, were significantly reduced in LP piglets, while mRNA expression and the lipolytic enzymes activities of lipolysis genes, adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase, were significantly increased. Furthermore, expression of autophagy-related gene 7 and autophagy maker gene microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC 3) as well as the conversion of LC3I to LC3II were significantly elevated, along with the expression of activating transcription factor-4 and eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2a. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that amino acid starvation-induced autophagy is involved in reduced subcutaneous fat deposition in maternal LP weaning piglets, demonstrating links between maternal protein restriction and offspring fat deposition.