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Open Access Expression Profiles of miRNA-122 and Its Target CAT1 in Minipigs (Sus scrofa) Fed a High-Cholesterol Diet

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The Göttingen minipig is an excellent model for studying effects of dietary high-fat intake on obesity. In this study, we analyzed the expression level of microRNA-122 (miRNA-122) and its target mRNA, CAT1, in intact young male minipigs fed either high-cholesterol or standard diet for 11 wk. MiRNA-122 and CAT1 are known to be important regulators of lipid metabolism. The weight of the young minipigs was monitored once a week during the feeding period; measurements of total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoproteins, and low-density lipoproteins were recorded at 4 time points (8, 14, 16, and 19 wk of age) in fasting animals during the feeding scheme. Body weight, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins were higher in pigs fed the high-cholesterol compared with the standard diet. In contrast, the level of triglycerides was lower in pigs on the high-cholesterol diet than those receiving the standard diet. Pigs fed high-cholesterol also had lower miRNA-122 levels than did those fed the standard diet. These results suggest that in our minipigs, the increase in weight and cholesterol levels resulting from subchronic (11 wk) feeding of a high-cholesterol diet is correlated with a decrease in the expression of miRNA-122, confirming the implication of this microRNA in obesity. Gene expression levels of CAT1 did not differ between groups.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Basic Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Division of Genetics and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark 2: Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark 3: Exiqon, Vedbaek, Denmark; Section for Sustainable Biotech, Copenhagen Institute of Technology, University of Aalborg, Ballerup, Denmark

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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