Increased adipose tissue lipolysis in dairy cows with fatty liver is associated with enhanced autophagy activity

Jihong Dong, Kaiming Yue, Juan J. Loor, Ahmad Aboragah, Guojin Li, Linfang Chen, Yuxiang Song, Xiliang Du, Guowen Liu, Zhe Wang, Xiaobing Li, Xinwei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lipolysis is increased in adipose tissue of cows with fatty liver during the transition period. Autophagy, a major cellular degradation process, plays a critical role in adipose tissue homeostasis. The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between lipolysis and autophagy in adipose tissue of cows with fatty liver. Using a nested case-control design, we compared blood and adipose tissue samples from 10 control cows [parity: median = 3, range = 2–4; days in milk: median = 8 d, range = 5–10 d; hepatic triacylglycerol content: median = 0.55% liver wt, range = 0.48–0.61% liver wt] and 10 lactation stage–matched cows with fatty liver (parity: median = 3, range = 2–4; days in milk: median = 9 d, range = 5–11 d; hepatic triacylglycerol content: median = 6.28% liver wt, range = 2.86–7.75% liver wt). Data were analyzed using paired t-tests. Serum concentrations of free fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate were greater and glucose concentration was lower in cows with fatty liver, which we determined by using commercially-available kits. Furthermore, western blotting showed that increased protein abundance of ATGL (adipose triglyceride lipase), ATG5 (autophagy-related gene 5), and ATG7; ratio of phosphorylated (p)-HSL (hormone-sensitive lipase) to HSL and MAP1LC3 (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3, also called LC3-II) to LC3-I along with decreased abundance of PLIN1 (perilipin 1), SQSTM1 (sequestosome-1, also called p62), and the ratio of p-mTOR (phosphorylated mechanistic target of rapamycin) to mTOR in cows with fatty liver. Quantitative reverse-transcription PCR revealed an increase in abundance of MAP1LC3 mRNA and a decrease in SQSTM1 mRNA in cows with fatty liver. These findings were replicated using an adipocyte model. Primary cultures of calf adipocytes isolated from the adipose tissue of the peritoneal omentum and mesentery were treated with 10 mM 3-methyladenine (3-MA), 5 nM rapamycin, 1 µM isoproterenol (ISO), and 1 µM ISO + 10 mM 3-MA. Comparisons among groups were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. Compared with the control, the 1 µM ISO treatment upregulated the abundance of ATGL, the ratio of p-HSL to HSL and LC3-II to LC3-I, and the glycerol content, whereas it downregulated the abundance of PLIN1 and p62 in calf adipocytes. Compared with the 1 μM ISO treatment group, 1 µM ISO + 10 mM 3-MA downregulated the abundance of ATGL, the ratio of p-HSL to HSL and LC3-II to LC3-I, and the glycerol content, whereas it upregulated the abundance of PLIN1 and p62. Compared with the control, the 5 nM rapamycin treatment upregulated the abundance of ATGL, the ratio of p-HSL to HSL and LC3-II to LC3-I, and the glycerol content, whereas it downregulated the abundance of PLIN1 and p62 in calf adipocytes. Overall, these data indicated that increased lipolysis in adipose tissue of cows with fatty liver was associated with enhanced autophagy. However, the specific molecular mechanisms that link lipolysis and autophagy need to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1731-1742
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • adipose tissue
  • autophagy
  • dairy cow
  • fatty liver
  • lipolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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