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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2012 Jun;96(3):403-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2011.01154.x. Epub 2011 May 11.

Expression of plasminogen activator-related genes in the adipose tissue of lactating dairy sheep in the early post-weaning period.

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Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


There is growing evidence that plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is expressed in adipose tissue and its expression is implicated in inflammation that accompanies obesity-associated diseases. The physiological role of other genes implicated in the plasminogen-activating cascade such as urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA), u-PA receptor (u-PAR) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2) in ovine adipose tissue remains unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the changes in the expression of four plasminogen activator (PA)-related genes during the early post-weaning period in dairy ewes. A total of 21 subcutaneous adipose tissue samples were obtained from seven lactating dairy ewes of the Chios breed at weeks 1, 2 and 4 after weaning. Results indicated that expression of all PA-related genes was detected in most of the samples examined. Greatest expression of u-PAR corresponded to highest (week 1), while greatest expression of PAI-2 corresponded to lowest (week 4) rate of lipolysis, as indicated by the expression of hormone-sensitive lipase, in the ovine adipose tissue. There were no significant differences in the expression of the other two PA-related genes (u-PA, PAI-1) throughout the experimental period. Plasminogen activator-related genes are not expressed in a coordinated manner in the adipose tissue of lactating dairy sheep in the early post-weaning period. In conclusion, adipose tissue mobilization is correlated with highest expression of u-PAR and lowest expression of PAI-2.

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