Insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in low-birth-weight goat kids

Huihui Song, Zhuohang Hao, Hehan Feng, Rui Li, Ran Zhang, Sean W. Limesand, Yongju Zhao, Xiaochuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low birth weight (LBW) impairs the development and health of livestock by affecting postnatal growth performance and metabolic health in adulthood. Previous studies on indigenous goats in southwest China showed that LBW goat kids had higher mortality and morbidity rates, including hepatic dyslipidemia and liver damage. However, the mechanism of insulin resistance affecting lipid metabolism under LBW conditions remains unclear. In this study, we conducted in vivo glucose-insulin metabolic studies, measured biochemical parameters, and analyzed related regulatory pathways. Both glucose tolerance tests and insulin tolerance tests indicated insulin resistance in LBW goat kids compared to controls (p < 0.05). The marker of insulin resistance, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), was 2.85-fold higher in LBW than in control goats (p < 0.01). Additionally, elevated levels of free fatty acids in both plasma and skeletal muscle were observed in LBW goats compared to normal birth weight (NBW) goats (p < 0.05). Transcriptome analysis revealed impairments in lipid metabolism and insulin signaling in LBW goats. The observed lipid accumulation was associated with the upregulation of genes linked to fatty acid uptake and transport (FABP3), fatty acid oxidation (PPARA), triacylglycerol synthesis (LPIN1 and DGAT1), oxidative stress (ANKRD2), and insulin resistance (PGC1α). Furthermore, the insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) was lower in the liver of LBW goat kids (p < 0.05). While there was no change in insulin function in skeletal muscle, LBW may lead to lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle by interfering with insulin function in the liver. These findings collectively impact the health and growth performance of livestock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1370640
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
StatePublished - 2024


  • goat
  • insulin resistance
  • lipid accumulation
  • low birth weight
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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