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Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Mar;40(3):2301-8. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-2311-7. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Association between subcutaneous and intramuscular fat content in porcine ham and loin depending on age, breed and FABP3 and LEPR genes transcript abundance.

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Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Balice, Poland.


The objective of the present study was to analyze the level of intramuscular fat (IMF) in loin (musculus longissimus dorsi) and ham (musculus semimembranosus) and the level of subcutaneous fat in these cuts depending on breed, age and the expression level of FABP3 and LEPR genes. The results obtained showed that only the breed influenced on the level of both intramuscular and subcutaneous fat to the same extent (P ≤ 0.001). The age of animals had an effect on fat content of the cuts (P ≤ 0.001) and to a lower extent on the level of IMF in both muscles (P ≤ 0.05). We confirmed highly significant effect of breed and age on the LEPR mRNA abundance--the expression of the this gene increased significantly (P ≤ 0.01) with age and the highest expression was found for the Puławska breed in m. longissimus dorsi and for the Polish Landrace breed in m. semimembranosus. We observed the high correlations between the transcript level of the LEPR gene and the fat content of individual cuts (P ≤ 0.01). The expression level of FABP3 gene influenced the level of IMF (P ≤ 0.01), but not the level of subcutaneous fat in loin and ham.

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