Journal of animal science

Acetate and glucose incorporation into subcutaneous, intramuscular, and visceral fat of finishing steers.

PMID 26020340


The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of early grain feeding on acetate and glucose turnover rates and acetate and glucose preference for palmitate synthesis by subcutaneous fat (SCF), intramuscular fat (IMF), and visceral fat (VF) in finishing steers. Sixteen Angus × Simmental steers were used in the study; 8 were early weaned (EW) and fed a high-grain diet immediately after weaning for 100 or 148 d, and 8 remained with their dams on pasture until weaning at 202 ± 5 or 253 ± 5 d of age. Normal weaned (NW) and EW animals were combined and grazed to 374 ± 5 or 393 ± 5 d of age, when they were placed on a corn silage-based finishing ration until they achieved a SCF thickness of 1.0 to 1.2 cm (494 ± 17 d of age for EW steers and 502 ± 12 d of age for NW steers). Immediately before harvest, steers were continuously infused for 12 h with [2H3] acetate (1.63 mmol/min; n = 8) or [U-13C6] glucose (0.07 mmol/min; n = 8). Blood samples were collected before initiation of infusions and at the end of the infusion from 8 animals or at 1-h intervals for the first 11 h and at 15-min intervals for the last hour of infusion for the other 8 animals. Adipose tissue samples from SCF, IMF, and VF depots were collected at harvest, and lipids were extracted. Plasma enrichments of acetate and glucose and palmitate enrichment in each depot were used to calculate plasma turnover rates and fractional synthesis rates (FSR; % per h) of palmitate from each isotope. Early weaned steers had greater marbling scores compared to NW steers ( P< 0.05). Plasma turnover rates and FSR for EW and NW steers were similar except for SCF, where a greater FSR from acetate was observed for EW steers. It is possible the greater FSR for SCF was due to harvesting the animals at a slightly more advanced stage of conditioning as evidenced by the trend for greater 12th rib fat (P = 0.07). Plasma acetate turnover and palmitate FSR from acetate were much greater (P < 0.05) than the corresponding rates from glucose, supporting the primary role of acetate as an energy source and the primary substrate for lipid synthesis across fat depots. However, FSR from acetate and glucose were not different among depots, suggesting that any potential effects of dietary starch on differential deposition of energy in SCF and IMF are not substrate driven.

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