Physiological genomics

Unique transcriptomic signature of omental adipose tissue in Ossabaw swine: a model of childhood obesity.

PMID 24642759


To better understand the impact of childhood obesity on intra-abdominal adipose tissue phenotype, a complete transcriptomic analysis using deep RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed on omental adipose tissue (OMAT) obtained from lean and Western diet-induced obese juvenile Ossabaw swine. Obese animals had 88% greater body mass, 49% greater body fat content, and a 60% increase in OMAT adipocyte area (all P < 0.05) compared with lean pigs. RNA-seq revealed a 37% increase in the total transcript number in the OMAT of obese pigs. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis showed transcripts in obese OMAT were primarily enriched in the following categories: 1) development, 2) cellular function and maintenance, and 3) connective tissue development and function, while transcripts associated with RNA posttranslational modification, lipid metabolism, and small molecule biochemistry were reduced. DAVID and Gene Ontology analyses showed that many of the classically recognized gene pathways associated with adipose tissue dysfunction in obese adults including hypoxia, inflammation, angiogenesis were not altered in OMAT in our model. The current study indicates that obesity in juvenile Ossabaw swine is characterized by increases in overall OMAT transcript number and provides novel data describing early transcriptomic alterations that occur in response to excess caloric intake in visceral adipose tissue in a pig model of childhood obesity.