Subcutaneous and gonadal adipose tissue transcriptome differences in lean and obese female dogs

Ryan W. Grant, Brittany M. Vester Boler, Tonya K. Ridge, Thomas K. Graves, Kelly S. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Canine obesity leads to shortened life span and increased disease incidence. Adipose tissue depots are known to have unique metabolic and gene expression profiles in rodents and humans, but few comparisons of depot gene expression have been performed in the dog. Using microarray technology, our objective was to identify differentially expressed genes and enriched functional pathways between subcutaneous and gonadal adipose of lean and obese dogs to better understand the pathogenesis of obesity in the dog. Because no depot × body weight status interactions were identified in the microarray data, depot differences were the primary focus. A total of 946 and 703 transcripts were differentially expressed (FDR P < 0.05) between gonadal and subcutaneous adipose tissue in obese and lean dogs respectively. Of the adipose depot-specific differences in gene expression, 162 were present in both lean and obese dogs, with the majority (85%) expressed in the same direction. Both lean and obese dog gene lists had enrichment of the complement and coagulation cascade and systemic lupus erythematosus pathways. Obese dogs had enrichment of lysosome, extracellular matrix-receptor interaction, renin-angiotensin system and hematopoietic cell lineage pathways. Lean dogs had enrichment of glutathione metabolism and synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies. We have identified a core set of genes differentially expressed between subcutaneous and gonadal adipose tissue in dogs regardless of body weight. These genes contribute to depot-specific differences in immune function, extracellular matrix remodeling and lysosomal function and may contribute to the physiological differences noted between depots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-735
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • adipose depot
  • canine
  • gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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