Short-term, high fat-feeding-induced changes in white adipose tissue gene expression are highly predictive for long-term changes



Using standardized, semipurified diets is a crucial factor for reproducibility of experimental nutritional studies. For the purpose of comparability and integration of research, two European consortia, Mitofood and BIOCLAIMS, proposed an AIN-93-based standard reference diet, the standardized BIOCLAIMS low-fat diet (LFD) as well as a high-fat diet (HFD). In order to evaluate the BIOCLAIMS LFD and HFD, we performed short-term (5 days) and long-term (12 weeks) feeding experiments using male C57BL/6 mice. The HFD has the same composition as the LFD except the fat content is increased to 40% energy in exchange for carbohydrates. Both diets were accepted by the animals and proof of principle was given that the BIOCLAIMS HFD increases body weight and body fat and affects glucose homeostasis. Short-term feeding trials (5 days) were performed in order to identify metabolic and molecular parameters which can serve as acute predictors for metabolic disorders due to high-fat diet-induced obesity. We analyzed gene expression in gonadal white adipose tissue of short- and long-term fed animals with whole genome microarrays. The BIOCLAIMS HFD strongly influenced gene expression in white adipose tissue after short- and long-term intervention. A total number of 973 and 4678 transcripts were significantly different between both diets after 5 days feeding and 12 weeks feeding, respectively. A total number of 764 transcripts encoding 549 genes were significantly differentially regulated between LF and HF animals after 12 weeks feeding as well as after 5 days feeding. Of these 549 overlapping genes, a substantial number (434 genes) were expressed at a lower level and 115 genes were expressed at a higher level in the HF mice compared to the LF mice. Without exception, all genes were regulated equally. Pathway analysis revealed a prominent role for genes involved in lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation. This was confirmed by quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR. The high predictive value of gene expression changes in our short-term study compared to long-term high fat feeding is a promising step to get well-defined, early biomarkers that could shorten animal trials considerably and allow a more rapid and efficient screening of different compounds.
Date made available27 Aug 2013
PublisherWageningen UR


  • human nutrition and health

Accession numbers

  • GSE38337
  • PRJNA167684

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