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Liver transcriptome profiling and functional analysis of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) piglets reveals a genetic correction and sexual-dimorphic gene expression during postnatal development

Gao, H.; Zhang, L.; Wang, L.; Liu, X.; Hou, X.; Zhao, F.; Yan, H.; Wang, L.

BMC Genomics 21(1): 701

2020


ISSN/ISBN: 1471-2164
PMID: 33032518
DOI: 10.1186/s12864-020-07094-9
Accession: 071058934

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BackgroundIntrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) remains a major problem associated with swine production. Thus, understanding the physiological changes of postnatal IUGR piglets would aid in improving growth performance. Moreover, liver metabolism plays an important role in the growth and survival of neonatal piglets.ResultsBy profiling the transcriptome of liver samples on postnatal Days 1, 7, and 28, our study focused on characterizing the growth, function, and metabolism in the liver of IUGR neonatal piglets. Our study demonstrates that the livers of IUGR piglets were associated with a series of complications, including inflammatory stress and immune dysregulation; cytoskeleton and membrane structure disorganization; dysregulated transcription events; and abnormal glucocorticoid metabolism. In addition, the abnormal liver function index in the serum [alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total protein (TP)], coupled with hepatic pathological and ultrastructural morphological changes are indicative of liver damage and dysfunction in IUGR piglets. Moreover, these results reveal the sex-biased developmental dynamics between male and female IUGR piglets, and that male IUGR piglets may be more sensitive to disrupted metabolic homeostasis.ConclusionsThese observations provide a detailed reference for understanding the mechanisms and characterizations of IUGR liver functions, and suggest that the potential strategies for improving the survival and growth performance of IUGR offspring should consider the balance between postnatal catch-up growth and adverse metabolic consequences. In particular, sex-specific intervention strategies should be considered for both female and male IUGR piglets.

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