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In ovo leptin administration affects hepatic lipid metabolism and microRNA expression in newly hatched broiler chickens

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Author(s): Hu Yan | Zhang Rui | Zhang Yanhong | Li Jing | Grossmann Roland | Zhao Ruqian

Journal: Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
ISSN 1674-9782

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Broiler chickens | In ovo manipulation | Leptin | Lipid metabolism | Liver | MicroRNA | SREBPs

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background A leptin-like immunoreactive substance has been found in chicken eggs and has been implicated in serving as a maternal signal to program offspring growth and metabolism. In the present study, we investigated the effects of in ovo leptin administration on hatch weight, serum and hepatic concentrations of metabolites and hormones, as well as on the expression of genes involved in hepatic lipid metabolism and the predicted microRNAs (miRNAs) targeting the affected genes. To this end we injected fertile eggs with either 0.5 μg of recombinant murine leptin or vehicle (PBS) before incubation. Results Prenatally leptin-exposed chicks showed lower hatch weight, but higher liver weight relative to the body weight, compared to the control group. In ovo leptin treatment increased the hepatic content and serum concentration of leptin in newly hatched chickens. The hepatic contents of triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (Tch) were decreased, whereas the serum levels of TG, Tch and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) were increased. The hepatic mRNA expression of sterol regulator element binding protein 1 (SREBP-1c), SREBP-2, hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase 1 (CYP7A1) was significantly up-regulated, as was the protein content of both SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 in hepatic nuclear extracts of leptin-treated chickens. Moreover, out of 12 miRNAs targeting SREBP-1c and/or HMGCR, five were significantly up-regulated in liver of leptin-treated chicks, including gga-miR-200b and gga-miR-429, which target both SREBP-1c and HMGCR. Conclusions These results suggest that leptin in ovo decreases hatch weight, and modifies hepatic leptin secretion and lipid metabolism in newly hatched broiler chickens, possibly via microRNA-mediated gene regulation.
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