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Vet Res Commun. 2013 Mar;37(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s11259-012-9540-z. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Peripheral tumor necrosis factor α regulation of adipose tissue metabolism and adipokine gene expression in neonatal pigs.

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Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, USDA/ARS, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


The neonatal pig is susceptible to stress and infection, conditions which favor tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) secretion. This study examined whether TNFα can alter metabolic activity and cytokine gene expression within neonatal pig adipose tissue. Cell cultures were prepared from neonatal subcutaneous adipose tissue using standard procedures. Cultures (5 experiments) were incubated with medium containing (14)C-glucose for 4 h to measure glucose conversion to lipid in the presence of combinations of TNFα (10 ng), insulin (10 nM) and an anti-pig TNFα antibody (5 μg). Basal lipogenesis was not affected by TNFα treatment (P > 0.05). However, insulin stimulated lipogenesis was reduced by TNFα (P < 0.02). For gene expression studies, cultures were incubated with 0, 2.5, 5.0 or 10 ng TNFα for 2, 4 or 24 h (n = 4 experiments). Interleukin 6 and TNFα gene expression were acutely (2-4 h) stimulated by exogenous TNFα treatment (P < 0.05), as analyzed by real-time PCR. Adiponectin mRNA abundance was reduced (P < 0.001) while monocyte chemotactic gene expression was increased by TNFα treatment at all time points (P < 0.001). Chronic treatment (24 h) was required to increase monocyte multiplication inhibitory factor or suppress lipoprotein lipase gene expression (P < 0.02). These data suggest conditions which increase serum TNFα, like sepsis, could suppress lipid accumulation within adipose tissue at a time of critical need in the neonate and induce a variety of adipose derived cytokines which may function to alter adipose physiology.

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