Abstract Background The composition of intramuscular fat depends on genetic and environmental factors, including the diet. In pigs, we identified a haplotype of three SNP mutations in the stearoyl-coA desaturase (SCD) gene promoter associated with higher content of monounsaturated fatty acids in intramuscular fat. The second of these three SNPs (rs80912566, C > T) affected a putative retinol response element in the SCD promoter. The effect of dietary vitamin A restriction over intramuscular fat content is controversial as it depends on the pig genetic line and the duration of the restriction. This study aims to investigate changes in the muscle transcriptome in SCD rs80912566 TT and CC pigs fed with and without a vitamin A supplement during the fattening period. Results Vitamin A did not affect carcass traits or intramuscular fat content and fatty acid composition, but we observed an interaction between vitamin A and SCD genotype on the desaturation of fatty acids in muscle. As reported before, the SCD-TT pigs had more monounsaturated fat than the SCD-CC animals. The diet lacking the vitamin A supplement enlarged fatty acid compositional differences between SCD genotypes, partly because vitamin A had a bigger effect on fatty acid desaturation in SCD-CC pigs (positive) than in SCD-TT and SCD-TC animals (negative). The interaction between diet and genotype was also evident at the transcriptome level; the highest number of differentially expressed genes were detected between SCD-TT pigs fed with the two diets. The genes modulated by the diet with the vitamin A supplement belonged to metabolic and signalling pathways related to immunity and inflammation, transport through membrane-bounded vesicles, fat metabolism and transport, reflecting the impact of retinol on a wide range of metabolic processes. Conclusions Restricting dietary vitamin A during the fattening period did not improve intramuscular fat content despite relevant changes in muscle gene expression, both in coding and non-coding genes. Vitamin A activated general pathways of retinol response in a SCD genotype-dependant manner, which affected the monounsaturated fatty acid content, particularly in SCD-CC pigs.
|Date made available||7 Jan 2022|
- SCD gene
- fatty acid
- vitamin A
- meat quality