Gene expression profiles of colonic mucosa in healthy young adult and senior dogs

Dong Yong Kil, Brittany M. Vester Boler, Carolyn J. Apanavicius, Lawrence B. Schook, Kelly S. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We have previously reported the effects of age and diet on nutrient digestibility, intestinal morphology, and large intestinal fermentation patterns in healthy young adult and senior dogs. However, a genome-wide molecular analysis of colonic mucosa as a function of age and diet has not yet been performed in dogs. Methodology/Principal Findings: Colonic mucosa samples were collected from six senior (12-year old) and six young adult (1-year old) female beagles fed one of two diets (animal protein-based vs. plant protein-based) for 12 months. Total RNA in colonic mucosa was extracted and hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChip® Canine Genome Arrays. Results indicated that the majority of gene expression changes were due to age (212 genes) rather than diet (66 genes). In particular, the colonic mucosa of senior dogs had increased expression of genes associated with cell proliferation, inflammation, stress response, and cellular metabolism, whereas the expression of genes associated with apoptosis and defensive mechanisms were decreased in senior vs. young adult dogs. No consistent diet-induced alterations in gene expression existed in both age groups, with the effects of diet being more pronounced in senior dogs than in young adult dogs. Conclusion: Our results provide molecular insight pertaining to the aged canine colon and its predisposition to dysfunction and disease. Therefore, our data may aid in future research pertaining to age-associated gastrointestinal physiological changes and highlight potential targets for dietary intervention to limit their progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12882
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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