Age and diet affect gene expression profile in canine skeletal muscle

Ingmar S. Middelbos, Brittany M. Vester, Lisa K. Karr-Lilienthal, Lawrence B. Schook, Kelly S. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated gene transcription in canine skeletal muscle (biceps femoris) using microarray analysis to identify effects of age and diet on gene expression. Twelve female beagles were used (six 1-year olds and six 12-year olds) and they were fed one of two experimental diets for 12 months. One diet contained primarily plant-based protein sources (PPB), whereas the second diet contained primarily animal-based protein sources (APB). Affymetrix GeneChip Canine Genome Arrays were used to hybridize extracted RNA. Age had the greatest effect on gene transcription (262 differentially expressed genes), whereas the effect of diet was relatively small (22 differentially expressed genes). Effects of age (regardless of diet) were most notable on genes related to metabolism, cell cycle and cell development, and transcription function. All these genes were predominantly down-regulated in geriatric dogs. Age-affected genes that were differentially expressed on only one of two diets were primarily noted in the PPB diet group (144/165 genes). Again, genes related to cell cycle (22/35) and metabolism (15/19) had predominantly decreased transcription in geriatric dogs, but 6/8 genes related to muscle development had increased expression. Effects of diet on muscle gene expression were mostly noted in geriatric dogs, but no consistent patterns in transcription were observed. The insight these data provide into gene expression profiles of canine skeletal muscle as affected by age, could serve as a foundation for future research pertaining to age-related muscle diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4481
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 16 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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