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Arch Anim Nutr. 2009 Apr;63(2):160-71. doi: 10.1080/17450390902733934.

Adipose tissue gene expression profiles of healthy young adult and geriatric dogs.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA.


Obesity is a major problem in today's dog population, with aged animals having an increased susceptibility to obesity-related comorbidities. A molecular approach to studying adipose tissue may enhance our understanding of its role in energy homeostasis and the disease process. Thus, the objective of this study was to use canine microarrays to compare gene expression profiles of adipose tissue from geriatric and young adult dogs. Adipose tissue samples were collected from six geriatric (12 year-old) and six young adult (one-year-old) female beagles after being fed one of two diets (animal protein-based vs. plant protein-based) for 12 months. RNA samples were hybridised to canine microarrays. Statistical analyses indicated that age had the greatest impact on gene expression, with 65 differentially expressed gene transcripts in geriatric dogs. Diet had a minor impact on gene expression, altering the expression of only 19 gene transcripts. In general, adipose tissue of geriatric dogs had increased expression of genes associated with cell cycle and growth, cell development and structure, cellular trafficking and protein processing, immune function, metabolism, and transcription and translation, as compared with that of young adults. Overall, our mRNA data suggest either an increased population of macrophages or increased inflammatory nature of adipocytes in adipose tissue of aged dogs.

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