Grazing‐induced changes in muscle microRNA‐206 and ‐208b expression in association with myogenic gene expression in cattle
To investigate the roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in muscle type conversion, the effects of 4 months of grazing on the expression levels of miRNAs and mRNAs associated with skeletal muscle development were analyzed by quantitative RT‐PCR using the Biceps femoris muscle of Japanese Shorthorn cattle. After 4 months of grazing, the expression of muscle fiber type‐associated miR‐208b was higher in the grazed cattle than in the housed. In concordance with the pattern in miR‐208b expression, the expression of MyoD, a myogenic regulatory factor associated with the shifting of muscle property to the fast type, was lower in the grazed cattle after 4 months of grazing than in the housed cattle. In addition, the expression of MyHC‐2x (a fast type) was higher in the housed cattle than in the grazed, after 4 months of grazing. During the grazing period, miR‐206 expression decreased in the housed cattle, whereas expression in the grazed cattle did not change, but rather remained higher than that of the housed cattle even at 3 months after the grazing ended. These miRNAs including miR‐206 persisting with muscles of grazed cattle may be associated with regulation of muscle gene expression during skeletal muscle adaptation to grazing.
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