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Acute and chronic cold exposure differentially affects the browning of porcine white adipose tissue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2017

Y. Gao
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
N. R. Qimuge
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
J. Qin
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
R. Cai
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
X. Li
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
G. Y. Chu
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
W. J. Pang
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
G. S. Yang
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition & Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
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Abstract

Piglets are characteristically cold intolerant and thus susceptible to high mortality. However, browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) can induce non-shivering thermogenesis as a potential strategy to facilitate the animal’s response to cold. Whether cold exposure can induce browning of subcutaneous WAT (sWAT) in piglets in a similar manner as it can in humans remains largely unknown. In this study, piglets were exposed to acute cold (4°C, 10 h) or chronic cold exposure (8°C, 15 days), and the genes and proteins of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent and independent thermogenesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, lipogenic and lipolytic processes were analysed. Interestingly, acute cold exposure induced browning of porcine sWAT, smaller adipocytes and the upregulated expression of UCP1, PGC1α, PGC1β, C/EBPβ, Cidea, UCP3, CKMT1 and PM20D1. Conversely, chronic cold exposure impaired the browning process, reduced mitochondrial numbers and the expression of browning markers, including UCP1, PGC1α and PRDM16. The present study demonstrated that acute cold exposure (but not chronic cold exposure) induces porcine sWAT browning. Thus, browning of porcine sWAT could be a novel strategy to balance the body temperature of piglets, and thus could be protective against cold exposure.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Animal Consortium 2017 

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Acute and chronic cold exposure differentially affects the browning of porcine white adipose tissue
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