Transcriptome Landscape of Porcine Intramuscular Adipocytes during Differentiation

The adipocyte differentiation process, controlled by a tightly regulated transcriptional cascade, contributes partly to determine intramuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) mass, which is associated with meat quality in food animals, as well as obesity and related metabolic complications in human. Thus, this study aimed to characterize genes critical for intramuscular preadipocyte differentiation. Primary intramuscular preadipocytes were isolated from pigs, and mRNA profiles were performed at several key points (0 h, 4 h, 8 h, 1 day, 2 days, and 6 days) during adipogenesis using microarrays. By gene functional analysis, we identified numerous differentially expressed genes among distinct stages of intramuscular preadipocyte differentiation, which included numbers of transcription factors in the early stages. We obtained 4 clusters of differential gene expression pattern, including crucial candidate genes associated with adipogenesis of intramuscular adipocytes. Further, we demonstrated that POSTN and FGFR4 suppressed, whereas AKR1CL1 promoted, the expression of adipogenic marker PPARγ and C/EBPα. Taken together, our data delineated the transcriptome landscape during porcine intramuscular preadipocyte differentiation, which provided a valuable resource for finding the genes responsible for IMAT formation.