Peripheral blood mononuclear cells gene expression reflects adaptive response and metabolic damage associated to the intake of diets with an unbalanced proportion of macronutrients



Gene expression studies in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) can provide knowledge that would be difficult to obtain using other types of biological samples, as these cells can reflect overall response of the body to a specific stimulus, such as diet. Here, we aimed to study the impact of sustained intake of isocaloric diets with an unbalanced macronutrient proportion (rich in fat or protein) on PBMC gene expression in rats using transcriptomics, to better understand the effects of these diets on metabolism and health. Macronutrient diet composition (especially increased protein content) affected PBMC gene expression. An important effect was observed in immune response-related genes. High protein (HP) diet produced an activation of genes mainly related to antigen recognition/presentation, whereas the high fat (HF) diet was more related to a decreased expression of these genes. Key energy homeostasis genes (mainly involved in lipid metabolism) were also affected, reflecting a nutritional adaptive response to the diets. Decreased Dhrs3 and increased Pref-1/Dlk1 expression observed in HP-fed animals reflects a lower lipogenic capacity. In addition, HF diet affected the expression of genes related to insulin resistance/signaling (Msra/Slc9a6, Asb6), hypoxia (Akap12), cardiovascular problems (Ethe1, Lr11), cognitive impairment (Tmcc2) and tumorigenesis (Ddx17, Phb, Rnasen/Drosha, and Tsc2). HP diet also impaired the expression of genes related to glucose metabolism and insulinemia (Glut-4/Slc2a4, Sfxn5, Slc16a1), but positively affected genes involved in liver function (Clec4f and St6galnac3) and cardiovascular protection (Sort1). In conclusion, gene expression analysis in PBMC can provide information that could be useful to detect metabolic deviations and health consequences of diets with an unbalanced macronutrient composition.
Date made available7 Dec 2015
PublisherWageningen University

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