Obesity-induced changes in gene expression in feline adipose and skeletal muscle tissue

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Indoor-confined cats are prone to developing obesity due to a sedentary life and an energy intake exceeding energy requirements. As in humans, feline obesity decreases insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of developing feline diabetes mellitus, but the pathophysiological mechanisms are currently poorly understood. Human obesity-related metabolic alterations seem to relate to changes in the expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism, insulin action and inflammation. The objective of the current study was to investigate changes in the expression of genes relating to obesity, glucose metabolism and inflammation in cats with non-experimentally induced obesity. Biopsies from the sartorius muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue were obtained from 73 healthy, neutered, indoor-confined domestic shorthaired cats ranging from lean to obese. Quantification of obesity-related gene expression levels relative to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase was performed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. A negative association between obesity and adiponectin expression was observed in the adipose tissue (mean ± SD; normal weight, 27.30 × 10−3 ± 77.14 × 10−3; overweight, 2.89 × 10−3 ± 0.38 × 10−3 and obese, 2.93 × 10−3 ± 4.20 × 10−3, p < 0.05). In muscle, the expression of peroxisome proliferative activated receptor-γ2 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 was increased in the obese compared to the normal-weight cats, and resistin was increased in the normal-weight compared to the overweight cats. There were no detectable obesity-related changes in the messenger RNA levels of inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, a possible obesity-related low-grade inflammation caused by increased expression of key proinflammatory regulators was not observed. This could imply that the development of feline obesity and ensuing insulin resistance may not be based on tissue-derived inflammation, but caused by several determining factors, many of which still need further investigation.

TidsskriftJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)1262 - 1278
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the veterinary nurses at the University Hospital for Companion Animals at the University of Copenhagen for technical support and the veterinary master students for their contribution to data collecting and Karin Kaufmann, Melania Osto, Eric Zini and Claudia Reusch, Vetsuisse‐Faculty University of Zurich, for laboratory help and for supplying materials and reagents for the RNA extraction and for guidance during the optimization of the qPCR protocol. The authors would also like to thank Agria Djurförsäkrings och Svenska Kennelklubbens forskningsfond (Project no. N2012‐0024, 2013), Godsejer Victor A. Goldschmidts Fonden (2011) and Vetfond (2011 and 2014) for financial support to the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

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