High-starch diets induce precocious adipogenic gene network up-regulation in longissimus lumborum of early-weaned Angus cattle

Daniel E. Graugnard, Larry L. Berger, Dan B. Faulkner, Juan J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Adipocyte differentiation is probably controlled by transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. Longissimus lumborum from Angus steers (aged 155d; seven animals per diet) fed high-starch or low-starch diets for 112d (growing phase) followed by a common high-starch diet for an additional 112d (finishing phase) was biopsied at 0, 56, 112 and 224d for transcript profiling via quantitative PCR of twenty genes associated with adipogenesis and energy metabolism. At 56d steers fed high starch had greater expression of PPAR as well as the lipogenic enzymes ATP citrate lyase (ACLY), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), fatty acid synthase (FASN), fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4), stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD), glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, mitochondrial (GPAM), and diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase homologue 2 (DGAT2), and the adipokine adiponectin (ADIPOQ). Expression of insulin-induced gene 1 (INSIG1) was also greater with high starch at 56d. Steers fed low starch experienced a marked increase in FASN, FABP4, SCD, DGAT2 and thyroid hormone-responsive (SPOT14 homologue, rat) (THRSP) between 56 and 112d of feeding. A greater expression of the transcription factors sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor 1 (SREBF1) and MLX interacting protein-like (MLXIPL) was observed at 224d in steers fed high starch, suggesting a nutritional imprinting effect. Carryover effects of low starch feeding were discerned by greater expression at 224d of THRSP, FABP4, SCD and DGAT2. These steers also had greater PPAR at 224d. Despite these responses, low starch led to greater expression at 224d of nuclear receptor subfamily 2, group F, member 2 (NR2F2), a known repressor of rodent adipocyte differentiation through its negative effects on PPAR, ADIPOQ and FABP4. Results suggested that early exposure to high starch induced precocious intramuscular adipocyte proliferation and metabolic imprinting of lipogenic transcription regulators. Low starch might have blunted the PPAR-driven adipogenic response through up-regulation of NR2F2 but the endogenous ligand for this nuclear receptor remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-963
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth
  • Metabolic imprinting
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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