Nutritional Regulation of GLUT Expression, Glucose Metabolism, and Intramuscular Fat Content in Porcine Muscle

  • Katsumata, M. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Sciences) ;
  • Kaji, Y. (National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa Region) ;
  • Takada, R. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Sciences) ;
  • Dauncey, M.J. (Wolfson College, University of Cambridge)
  • Published : 2007.08.01


We conducted a series of investigations in order to elucidate role of nutritional status in regulating GLUT expression and energy metabolism in porcine muscle. Firstly, the role of mild undernutrition in regulating muscle GLUT gene expression and function was studied in growing pigs (3 wk of age) on a high (H) or low (L) food intake (H = 2L) at $35^{\circ}C$ or $26^{\circ}C$. Low food intake selectively upregulates GLUT1 and GLUT4 gene expression; mRNA levels were elevated in longissimus dorsi (L. dorsi) and rhomboideus muscles but not in diaphragm or cardiac muscles. Our next step was to determine whether dietary lysine, a major primary limiting amino acid in diets for pigs, affects muscle GLUT4 expression. Pigs of 6 wk of age were pair-fed a control or low lysine (LL) diet. The control diet contained optimal amounts of all essential amino acids, including 1.15% lysine. The LL diet was similar but contained only 0.70% lysine. GLUT4 mRNA expression was upregulated by the LL diet in L. dorsi and rhomboideus muscles, whereas that in cardiac muscle was unaffected. GLUT4 protein abundance was also higher in rhomboideus muscle of animals on the LL diet. We conducted another investigation in order to elucidate effects of the LL diet on post-GLUT4 glucose metabolism. Activity of hexokinase was unaffected by dietary lysine levels while that of citrate synthase was higher both in L. dorsi and rhomboideus muscles of pigs fed on the LL diet. Glucose 6-phosphate content was higher in L. dorsi msucle in the LL group. Glycogen content was higher both in L. dorsi and rhomboideus muscles in the LL group. Further, we determined the effects of dietary lysine levels on accumulation of intramuscular fat (IMF) in L. dorsi muscle of finishing pigs. A low lysine diet (lysine content was 0.40%) meeting approximately 70% of the requirement of lysine was given to finishing pigs for two months. IMF contents in L. dorsi of the pigs given the low lysine diet were twice higher than those of the pigs fed on a control diet (lysine content was 0.65%). Finally, we proved that a well known effect of breadcrumbs feeding to enhance IMF of finishing pigs could be attributed to shortage of amino acids in diets including breadcrumbs.


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