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Promotion of intramuscular fat accumulation in porcine muscle by nutritional regulation

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Recently, pork with marbling has received attention as good quality pork and scientists are required to develop methods to produce pork with reasonable amounts of intramuscular fat (IMF). The aim of this review is to describe studies relevant to promotion of IMF accumulation in porcine muscle by nutritional regulation. The main focus is on effect of dietary lysine levels. First, we found dietary low lysine up-regulated glucose transporter protein 4 messenger (m)RNA expression in Longissimus dorsi (L. dorsi) and Rhomboideus muscles. In addition, the proportion of oxidative fiber of both muscles was also enhanced by dietary low lysine. Because it has been observed that higher oxidative capacity is associated with higher IMF content, we hypothesized that dietary low lysine would promote IMF accumulation. Further, higher mRNA abundance of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, a master regulator of adipogenesis, in both muscles induced by dietary low lysine, supported this hypothesis. Indeed, IMF content of L. dorsi muscle of finishing pigs given a low lysine diet for 2 months until reaching the market weight was twice that of pigs given a control diet. Possible underlying mechanisms of IMF accumulation in porcine muscle and future perspectives are also discussed in this review.
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Keywords: dietary lysine; intramuscular fat; nutritional regulation; pig

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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