Publications by authors named "Ulla Renne"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Dynamics of Fat Mass in DUhTP Mice Selected for Running Performance - Fat Mobilization in a Walk.

Obes Facts 2015 3;8(6):373-85. Epub 2015 Dec 3.

Cell Signaling Unit from the Institute for Genome Biology, Leibniz-Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany.

Objective: Reduction of body fat can be achieved by dietary programs and/or aerobic exercise training. More convenient methods to rid the body of excess fat are needed. However, it is unclear whether it is possible to more easily lose body weight at all.

Methods: DUhTP mice bred through phenotype selection for high treadmill performance and unselected controls were voluntarily physically active in a running wheel over a period of 3 weeks. Phenotypical data were collected, and subcutaneous fat was analyzed for expression of mitochondria-relevant proteins.

Results: Voluntary physical activity over 3 weeks exclusively in DUhTP mice severely reduced subcutaneous (-38%; p < 0.05) and epididymal (-32%; p < 0.05) fat. Following mild physical activity, subcutaneous fat derived from DUhTP mice showed increased levels of long chain acyl dehydrogenase (LCAD; +230%; p < 0.05) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1-α; p < 0.01). Mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) expression was similar in both sedentary genotypes but physical activity increased Tfam levels exclusively in DUhTP (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the mitochondrial mass is highly active in DUhTP mice and responsive even to mild physical activity. While genetic predisposition could not prevent fat accretion in DUhTP mice, voluntary activity was sufficient to reduce excess body fat almost completely.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000442399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5644887PMC
July 2016

Lifelong obesity in a polygenic mouse model prevents age- and diet-induced glucose intolerance- obesity is no road to late-onset diabetes in mice.

PLoS One 2013 13;8(11):e79788. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

Laboratory for Mouse Genetics, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf, Germany.

Aims/hypothesis: Visceral obesity holds a central position in the concept of the metabolic syndrome characterized by glucose intolerance in humans. However, until now it is unclear if obesity by itself is responsible for the development of glucose intolerance.

Methods: We have used a novel polygenic mouse model characterized by genetically fixed obesity (DU6) and addressed age- and high fat diet-dependent glucose tolerance.

Results: Phenotype selection over 146 generations increased body weight by about 2.7-fold in male 12-week DU6 mice (P<0.0001) if compared to unselected controls (Fzt:DU). Absolute epididymal fat mass was particularly responsive to weight selection and increased by more than 5-fold (P<0.0001) in male DU6 mice. At an age of 6 weeks DU6 mice consumed about twice as much food if compared to unselected controls (P<0.001). Absolute food consumption was higher at all time points measured in DU6 mice than in Fzt:DU mice. Between 6 and 12 weeks of age, absolute food intake was reduced by 15% in DU6 mice (P<0.001) but not in Fzt:DU mice. In both mouse lines feeding of the high fat diet elevated body mass if compared to the control diet (P<0.05). In contrast to controls, DU6 mice did not display high fat diet-induced increases of epididymal and renal fat. Control mice progressively developed glucose intolerance with advancing age and even more in response to the high fat diet. In contrast, obese DU6 mice did neither develop a glucose intolerant phenotype with progressive age nor when challenged with a high fat diet.

Conclusions/interpretation: Our results from a polygenic mouse model demonstrate that genetically pre-determined and life-long obesity is no precondition of glucose intolerance later in life.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0079788PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827443PMC
July 2014

High-fat diets rich in ω-3 or ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids have distinct effects on lipid profiles and lipid peroxidation in mice selected for either high body weight or leanness.

Nutrition 2013 May 22;29(5):765-71. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Department of Muscle Biology and Growth, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf, Germany.

Objective: The aim of the study is to determine the response of muscle lipid peroxidation and the fatty-acid profile of three groups of mice-high body weight (DU6) obesity-prone mice, high treadmill performance (DUhTP) lean mice, and unselected control mice (DUK) fed high-fat diets (HFDs) rich in ω-3 or ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).

Methods: The isocaloric HFDs were enriched with either ω-3 PUFA (27% fish oil, ω-3 HFD) or ω-6 PUFA (27% sunflower oil, ω-6 HFD), and the control group was fed standard chow (7.2% fat). Statistical calculations were done with procedure GLM of SAS.

Results: As expected, the ω-3 and ω-6 PUFA-rich HFDs showed significant effects on fatty-acid concentrations of skeletal muscle in all three lines of mice compared with the standard chow. The investigations of muscle lipid peroxidation revealed that the ω-3 PUFA-rich HFD caused the highest lipid peroxidation values in muscle of lean DUhTP mice and unselected control DUK mice. However, lower lipid peroxidation levels were observed in the obesity-prone DU6 mice. In contrast, the ω-6 PUFA-rich HFD did not influence lipid peroxidation in muscle of any of the different lines of mice. The present study suggests that a higher overall antioxidant capacity in the muscle tissue of obesity-prone DU6 mice may lead to lower levels of reactive oxygen species formation by ω-3 PUFA-rich HFDs in comparison with lean DUhTP mice.

Conclusion: These studies raise the possibility that obesity per se may be protective against oxidative damage when high ω-3 PUFA diets are used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2012.10.010DOI Listing
May 2013

Metabolic adaptations in the liver of born long-distance running mice.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2013 May;45(5):841-50

Research Unit of Genetics and Biometry, Leibniz-Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf, Germany.

Purpose: Long-distance runners have increased needs of energy supply. To unravel genetically based mechanisms required for efficient energy supply, we have analyzed hepatic metabolism of mice characterized by the inborn capacity to perform as long-distance runners.

Methods: The mouse model had been established by phenotypic selection for high treadmill performance for 90 generations and was characterized by approximately 3.8-fold higher running capacities (Dummerstorf high Treadmill Performance mouse line [DUhTP]) compared with unselected and also untrained controls (Dummerstorf Control mouse line [DUC]). From 7-wk-old male mice, serum and liver samples were collected and analyzed for messenger RNA, protein, and metabolite levels, respectively.

Results: In livers from DUhTP mice, we identified significantly higher messenger RNA transcript levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta and higher protein levels of sirtuin-1, acetyl-CoA-synthetase, acetyl-CoA-carboxylase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, and glutamate-dehydrogenase, suggesting higher gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis in DUhTP mice. In fact, higher hepatic levels of glycogen and triglycerides as well as higher concentrations of carbohydrate, fatty acid, and cholesterol metabolites were found in DUhTP mice. In parallel, in DUhTP mice, which did not have access to running wheels, a marked hyperlipidemia (cholesterol = 160% ± 8%, triglycerides = 174% ± 14% of controls, respectively), and abdominal obesity (DUhTP = 0.396 ± 0.019 g, DUC = 0.291 ± 0.019 g) were found.

Conclusions: From our data, we conclude that the physiological basis of genetically fixed higher endurance-running performance in DUhTP marathon mouse is related to increased hepatic gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis. Expression of sirtuin 1 as well as of gluconeogenic and lipogenic key enzymes may be related to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta. Metabolic adaptations presented in our study represent inborn features of superior endurance-running performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31827e0fcaDOI Listing
May 2013

Extrinsic and intrinsic regulation of DOR/TP53INP2 expression in mice: effects of dietary fat content, tissue type and sex in adipose and muscle tissues.

Nutr Metab (Lond) 2012 Sep 21;9(1):86. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

Institute of Veterinary Medicine, University of Göttingen, Burckhardtweg 2, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.

Unlabelled:

Background: DOR/TP53INP2 acts both at the chromosomal level as a nuclear co-factor e.g. for the thyroid hormone receptor and at the extrachromosomal level as an organizing factor of the autophagosome. In a previous study, DOR was shown to be down-regulated in skeletal muscle of obese diabetic Zucker fa/fa rats.

Methods: To identify sites of differential DOR expression in metabolically active tissues, we measured differences in DOR expression in white adipose tissue (WAT), brown adipose tissue (BAT), skeletal muscle (SM) and heart muscle (HM) by qPCR. To assess whether DOR expression is influenced in the short term by nutritional factors, NMRI mice were fed different fat rich diets (fat diet, FD: 18% or high fat diet, HFD: 80% fat) for one week and DOR expression was compared to NMRI mice fed a control diet (normal diet, ND: 3.3% fat). Additionally, DOR expression was measured in young (45 days old) and adult (100 days old) genetically obese (DU6/DU6i) mice and compared to control (DUKs/DUKsi) animals.

Results: ANOVA results demonstrate a significant influence of diet, tissue type and sex on DOR expression in adipose and muscle tissues of FD and HFD mice. In SM, DOR expression was higher in HFD than in FD male mice. In WAT, DOR expression was increased compared to BAT in male FD and HFD mice. In contrast, expression levels in female mice were higher in BAT for both dietary conditions.DOR expression levels in all tissues of 100 days old genetically obese animals were mainly influenced by sex. In HM, DOR expression was higher in male than female animals.

Conclusions: DOR expression varies under the influence of dietary fat content, tissue type and sex. We identified target tissues for further studies to analyze the specific function of DOR in obesity. DOR might be part of a defense mechanism against fat storage in high fat diets or obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-9-86DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497704PMC
September 2012

Phenotype selection reveals coevolution of muscle glycogen and protein and PTEN as a gate keeper for the accretion of muscle mass in adult female mice.

PLoS One 2012 29;7(6):e39711. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Laboratory for Mouse Genetics, Research Unit Genetics & Biometry, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany.

We have investigated molecular mechanisms for muscle mass accretion in a non-inbred mouse model (DU6P mice) characterized by extreme muscle mass. This extreme muscle mass was developed during 138 generations of phenotype selection for high protein content. Due to the repeated trait selection a complex setting of different mechanisms was expected to be enriched during the selection experiment. In muscle from 29-week female DU6P mice we have identified robust increases of protein kinase B activation (AKT, Ser-473, up to 2-fold) if compared to 11- and 54-week DU6P mice or controls. While a number of accepted effectors of AKT activation, including IGF-I, IGF-II, insulin/IGF-receptor, myostatin or integrin-linked kinase (ILK), were not correlated with this increase, phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) was down-regulated in 29-week female DU6P mice. In addition, higher levels of PTEN phosphorylation were found identifying a second mechanism of PTEN inhibition. Inhibition of PTEN and activation of AKT correlated with specific activation of p70S6 kinase and ribosomal protein S6, reduced phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and higher rates of protein synthesis in 29-week female DU6P mice. On the other hand, AKT activation also translated into specific inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3ß (GSK3ß) and an increase of muscular glycogen. In muscles from 29-week female DU6P mice a significant increase of protein/DNA was identified, which was not due to a reduction of protein breakdown or to specific increases of translation initiation. Instead our data support the conclusion that a higher rate of protein translation is contributing to the higher muscle mass in mid-aged female DU6P mice. Our results further reveal coevolution of high protein and high glycogen content during the selection experiment and identify PTEN as gate keeper for muscle mass in mid-aged female DU6P mice.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0039711PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387210PMC
November 2012

Metabolic responses to high-fat diets rich in n-3 or n-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in mice selected for either high body weight or leanness explain different health outcomes.

Nutr Metab (Lond) 2011 Aug 11;8(1):56. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Department of Physiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30173 Hannover, Germany.

Background: Increasing evidence suggests that diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) confer health benefits by improving insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in liver, muscle and adipose tissue.

Methods: The present study investigates metabolic responses in two different lines of mice either selected for high body weight (DU6) leading to rapid obesity development, or selected for high treadmill performance (DUhTP) leading to a lean phenotype. At 29 days of age the mice were fed standard chow (7.2% fat, 25.7% protein), or a high-fat diet rich in n-3 PUFA (n-3 HFD, 27.7% fat, 19% protein) or a high-fat diet rich in n-6 PUFA (n-6 HFD, 27.7% fat, 18.6% protein) for 8 weeks. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of these PUFA-rich high-fat diets on the fatty acid profile and on the protein expression of key components of insulin signalling pathways.

Results: Plasma concentrations of leptin and insulin were higher in DU6 in comparison with DUhTP mice. The high-fat diets stimulated a strong increase in leptin levels and body fat only in DU6 mice. Muscle and liver fatty acid composition were clearly changed by dietary lipid composition. In both lines of mice n-3 HFD feeding significantly reduced the hepatic insulin receptor β protein concentration which may explain decreased insulin action in liver. In contrast, protein kinase C ζ expression increased strongly in abdominal fat of n-3 HFD fed DUhTP mice, indicating enhanced insulin sensitivity in adipose tissue.

Conclusions: A diet high in n-3 PUFA may facilitate a shift from fuel deposition in liver to fuel storage as fat in adipose tissue in mice. Tissue specific changes in insulin sensitivity may describe, at least in part, the health improving properties of dietary n-3 PUFA. However, important genotype-diet interactions may explain why such diets have little effect in some population groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-8-56DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169453PMC
August 2011

High-protein diet in lactation leads to a sudden infant death-like syndrome in mice.

PLoS One 2011 Mar 9;6(3):e17443. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Department Experimental Cardiology, Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary System, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Giessen, Germany.

Background: It is well accepted that reduced foetal growth and development resulting from maternal malnutrition are associated with a number of chronic conditions in later life. On the other hand such generation-transcending effects of over-nutrition and of high-protein consumption in pregnancy and lactation, a proven fact in all developed societies, are widely unknown. Thus, we intended to describe the generation-transcending effects of a high-protein diet, covering most relevant topics of human life like embryonic mortality, infant death, and physical health in later life.

Methods: Female mice received control food (21% protein) or were fed a high protein diet (42% protein) during mating. After fertilisation, females stayed on their respective diet until weaning. At birth, pups were put to foster mothers who were fed with standard food or with HP diet. After weaning, control diet was fed to all mice. All offspring were monitored up to 360 days after birth. We determined glucose-tolerance and measured cardiovascular parameters using a tip-catheter. Finally, abdominal fat amount was measured.

Results And Conclusions: We identified a worried impact of high-protein diet during pregnancy on dams' body weight gain, body weight of newborns, number of offspring, and also survival in later life. Even more important is the discovery that high-protein diet during lactation caused a more than eight-fold increase in offspring mortality. The observed higher newborn mortality during lactation is a hitherto non-described, unique link to the still incompletely understood human sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Thus, although offspring of lactating mothers on high-protein diet might have the advantage of lower abdominal fat within the second half of life, this benefit seems not to compensate the immense risk of an early sudden death during lactation. Our data may implicate that both pregnant women and lactating mothers should not follow classical high-protein diets.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017443PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3052301PMC
March 2011

Increased fat mass, decreased myofiber size, and a shift to glycolytic muscle metabolism in adolescent male transgenic mice overexpressing IGFBP-2.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2010 Aug 25;299(2):E287-98. Epub 2010 May 25.

Research Divisions-Muscle Biology and Growth, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, Dummerstorf, Germany.

To elucidate the functional role of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) for in vivo skeletal muscle growth and function, skeletal muscle cellularity and metabolism, expression of signal molecules, and body growth and composition were studied in a transgenic mouse model overexpressing IGFBP-2. Postnatal growth rate of transgenic mice was reduced from day 21 of age by 6-8% compared with nontransgenic controls. At 10 wk of age body lean protein and moisture percentages were lower, whereas fat percentage was higher in IGFBP-2 transgenic mice. Muscle weights were reduced (-13% on day 30 of age, -14% on day 72), which resulted from slower growth of myofibers in size but not from decreases in myofiber number. The reduction in muscle mass was associated with lower total DNA, RNA, and protein contents as well as greater DNA/RNA and protein/RNA ratios. The percentage of proliferating (Ki-67-positive) nuclei within myofibers was reduced (3.4 vs. 5.8%) in 30-day-old transgenic mice. These changes were accompanied by slight reductions in specific p44/42 MAPK activity (-18% on day 72) and, surprisingly, by increased levels of phosphorylated Akt (Ser(473)) (+25% on day 30, +66% on day 72). The proportion of white glycolytic fibers (55.9 vs. 53.5%) and the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (+8%) were elevated in 72-day-old transgenic mice. Most of the differences observed between transgenic and nontransgenic mice were more pronounced in males. The results suggest that IGFBP-2 significantly inhibits postnatal skeletal myofiber growth by decreasing myogenic proliferation and protein accretion and enhances glycolytic muscle metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00492.2009DOI Listing
August 2010

Genetic control of lipids in the mouse cross DU6i x DBA/2.

Mamm Genome 2007 Nov 8;18(11):757-66. Epub 2007 Nov 8.

Institute of Animal Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany.

An F(2) pedigree based on the mouse lines DU6i and DBA/2 with extremely different growth and obesity characteristics was generated to search for QTLs affecting serum concentrations of triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (CHOL), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C). Compared with many other studies, we searched for spontaneous genetic variants contributing to high lipid levels under a standard breeding diet. Significant QTLs for CHOL were identified on chromosomes 4 and 6, and a female-specific locus on chromosome 3. QTLs for HDL-C were detected on chromosome 11 for both sexes, and on chromosome 1 for females. These QTLs are located in syntenic human regions that have QTLs that have not been previously confirmed in animal studies. LDL-C QTLs have been mapped for both sexes to chromosome 8 and in males on chromosome 13. Epistatic interactions that significantly accounted for the phenotypic variance of HDL-C, CHOL, and LDL-C serum concentrations were also detected with one interaction between chromosomes 8 and 15, accounting for 22% of the observed variance in LDL-C levels. The identified loci coincide in part with regions controlling growth and obesity. Thus, multiple genes or pleiotropic effects may be assumed. The identified QTLs for cholesterol and its transport proteins as subcomponents of risk for coronary heart disease will further improve our understanding of the genetic net controlling plasma lipid concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-007-9068-7DOI Listing
November 2007

Two high-fertility mouse lines show differences in component fertility traits after long-term selection.

Reprod Fertil Dev 2007 ;19(7):815-21

Forschungsbereich Molekularbiologie, Forschungsinstitut für die Biologie landwirtschaftlicher Nutztiere (FBN), Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, Dummerstorf, Germany.

Unlabelled: Two selected high-fertility mouse lines, namely FL1 and FL2, and a non-selected control (Fzt:DU), all derived from the same genetic pool, were analysed as an animal model for polytocous species to elucidate the effects of long-term selection and to identify relevant component traits that may be responsible for fertility performance. The index trait used for breeding selection was largely increased by 104% and 142% in the FL1 and FL2 lines, respectively, resulting in an average litter size of 17.3 pups and 18.7 pups per litter in the FL1 and FL2 lines, respectively, compared with a litter size of 11.0 pups per litter in the control (Fzt:DU). In addition, different component fertility traits were analysed in females of all three lines at different stages of the oestrous cycle and pregnancy.

In Conclusion: (1) early embryonic development was accelerated in the FL1 and FL2 lines compared with control; (2) plasma progesterone levels were not correlated with fertility performance; (3) a largely increased ovulation number (i.e. number of corpora lutea) was responsible for high prolificacy in both lines; however, (4) the number of ova shed, as well as the rate of loss of ova and pre- and postimplantation conceptuses, was very different in the FL1 and FL2 lines, suggesting that different genetic components may be responsible for the high prolificacy in both high-fertility lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/rd07009DOI Listing
January 2008

Differentially expressed genes in adipose tissues of high body weight-selected (obese) and unselected (lean) mouse lines.

J Appl Genet 2007 ;48(2):133-43

Institute for Animal Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstrasse 42, 10115 Berlin, Germany.

Recently, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for body weight and obesity have been mapped in an intercross population between the high body weight-selected mouse line DU6i and the inbred line DBA/2. Most QTLs were highly significant, but had small effects only. Under the hypothesis that small-effect QTLs might result from changes in gene activity, our strategy to identify candidate genes for the observed effects was directed towards the identification of differentially expressed genes. Therefore, here we compare the transcription profile of about 11 000 genes in epididymal fat tissues of males of two high body weight-selected (DU6 and DU6i) and two unselected mouse lines (DUKs and DBA/2). For the hybridisation of GeneChips, we used pooled samples of 20 individual mice. By pair-wise comparisons between selected and unselected mouse lines, a set of 77 genes was identified representing genes whose level of expression differed between obese and lean mouse strains. According to the functional classification of genes, 69 differentially expressed genes were involved in regulatory and metabolic pathways, cell division, cell stability, or immune response, and thus might have an effect on body weight and fat accumulation. 14 out of these genes, occur in QTL regions for body weight or abdominal fat weight. Further analyses are necessary to discriminate between genes directly causing QTL effects and indirectly regulated differentially expressed genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03194671DOI Listing
August 2007

Chromosome-wise dissection of the genome of the extremely big mouse line DU6i.

Genetics 2006 Jan 12;172(1):401-10. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Institute for Animal Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.

The extreme high-body-weight-selected mouse line DU6i is a polygenic model for growth research, harboring many small-effect QTL. We dissected the genome of this line into 19 autosomes and the Y chromosome by the construction of a new panel of chromosome substitution strains (CSS). The DU6i chromosomes were transferred to a DBA/2 mice genetic background by marker-assisted recurrent backcrossing. Mitochondria and the X chromosome were of DBA/2 origin in the backcross. During the construction of these novel strains, >4000 animals were generated, phenotyped, and genotyped. Using these data, we studied the genetic control of variation in body weight and weight gain at 21, 42, and 63 days. The unique data set facilitated the analysis of chromosomal interaction with sex and parent-of-origin effects. All analyzed chromosomes affected body weight and weight gain either directly or in interaction with sex or parent of origin. The effects were age specific, with some chromosomes showing opposite effects at different stages of development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.104.040196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1456167PMC
January 2006

Relationships between quantitative and reproductive fitness traits in animals.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2005 Jul;360(1459):1489-502

Scottish Agricultural College, Sustainable Livestock Systems Group, Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0PH, UK.

The relationships between quantitative and reproductive fitness traits in animals are of general biological importance for the development of population genetic models and our understanding of evolution, and of great direct economical importance in the breeding of farm animals. Two well investigated quantitative traits--body weight (BW) and litter size (LS)--were chosen as the focus of our review. The genetic relationships between them are reviewed in fishes and several mammalian species. We have focused especially on mice where data are most abundant. In mice, many individual genes influencing these traits have been identified, and numerous quantitative trait loci (QTL) located. The extensive data on both unselected and selected mouse populations, with some characterized for more than 100 generations, allow a thorough investigation of the dynamics of this relationship during the process of selection. Although there is a substantial positive genetic correlation between both traits in unselected populations, caused mainly by the high correlation between BW and ovulation rate, that correlation apparently declines during selection and therefore does not restrict a relatively independent development of both traits. The importance of these findings for overall reproductive fitness and its change during selection is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2005.1679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1569514PMC
July 2005

Effects of the compact mutant myostatin allele Mstn (Cmpt-dl1Abc) introgressed into a high growth mouse line on skeletal muscle cellularity.

J Muscle Res Cell Motil 2005 1;26(2-3):103-12. Epub 2005 Jul 1.

Department of Muscle Biology and Growth, Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals, Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany.

The murine myostatin mutation Mstn(Cmpt-dl1Abc) (Compact; C) was introduced into an inbred mouse line with extreme growth (DUHi) by marker-assisted introgression. To study the allelic effects on muscle fibre hyperplasia and hypertrophy, myonuclear proliferation, protein accretion, capillary density, and muscle fibre metabolism, samples from M. rectus femoris (RF) and M. longissimus dorsi (LD) muscles of animals wild-type (+/+), heterozygous (C/+), and homozygous (C/C) for the Mstn(Cmpt-dl1Abc) allele were examined by histological and biochemical analyses. Homozygous C/C mice exhibited lower body (-12%) but higher muscle weights (+38%) than ++ mice. Total muscle fibre number was increased (+24%), whereas fibre size was not significantly affected. Protein and DNA concentrations and DNA:protein ratios as well as specific CK activity remained unchanged for higher mass muscle implying increases in the total contents of DNA and muscle specific protein. Fibre type distribution was markedly shifted to the white glycolytic muscle fibres (+16-17% units) at the expense of red oxidative fibres. Capillary density was substantially lower in C/C than in ++ mice as seen by lower number of capillaries per fibre (-35%) and larger fibre area per capillary (+77%). However, the Mstn(Cmpt-dl1Abc) allele was partially recessive in heterozygous C/+ mice for both fibre type frequencies and capillary density. The results show that hypermuscularity caused by mutations in the myostatin gene results from muscle fibre hyperplasia rather than hypertrophy, and from balanced increases in myonuclear proliferation and protein accretion. However, capillary supply is adversely affected and muscle metabolism shifted towards glycolysis, which could have negative consequences for physical fitness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10974-005-1099-7DOI Listing
July 2006

Marker-assisted introgression of the Compact mutant myostatin allele MstnCmpt-dl1Abc into a mouse line with extreme growth effects on body composition and muscularity.

Genet Res 2004 Dec;84(3):161-73

Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JT, UK.

Myostatin is a negative regulator of muscle growth and mutations in its gene lead to muscular hypertrophy and reduced fat. In cattle, this is seen in 'double muscled' breeds. We have used marker-assisted introgression to introduce a murine myostatin mutation, MstnCmpt-dl1Abc [Compact (C)], into an inbred line of mice (DUHi) that had been selected on body weight and had exceptional growth. Compared with homozygous wild-type mice, homozygous (C/C) mice of this line were approximately 4-5 % lighter, had approximately 7-8 % shorter tails, substantially increased muscle weights (e.g. quadriceps muscle in males was 59 % heavier) and an increased 'dressing percentage' (approximately 49 % vs 39 %), an indicator of overall muscularity. The weights of several organs (e.g. liver, kidney, heart and digestive tract) were significantly reduced, by 12-20 %. Myostatin deficiency also resulted in drastic reductions of total body fat and of various fat depots, total body fat proportion falling from approximately 17.5 % in wild-type animals of both sexes to 9.5 % and 11.6% in homozygous (C/C) females and males, respectively. Males with a deficiency in myostatin had higher gains in muscle traits than females. Additionally, there was a strong distortion of the segregation ratio on the DUHi background. Of 838 genotyped pups from inter se matings 29 %, 63 % and 8 % were homozygous wild type (+/+), heterozygous (C/+) and homozygous (C/C), respectively, showing that MstnCmpt-dl1Abc has lower fitness on this background. This line, when congenic, will be a useful resource in gene expression studies and for finding modifying genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0016672304007165DOI Listing
December 2004

QTLs for pre- and postweaning body weight and body composition in selected mice.

Mamm Genome 2004 Aug;15(8):593-609

Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals, 18196, Dummerstorf, Germany.

In an intercross between the high-body-weight-selected mouse line NMRI8 and the inbred line DBA/2, we analyzed genetic effects on growth during the suckling period and after weaning during the juvenile phase of development. QTL mapping results indicated that a switch of gene activation might occur at the age of three weeks when animals are weaned. We found QTLs for body weight with major effects at the age of two and three weeks when animals are fed by their mothers, and QTLs with highest effects after weaning when animals have to live on their own under ad libitum access to food. Specific epistatic effects on body weight at two and three weeks and epistatic interaction influencing growth after weaning support this finding. QTL effects explained the greatest variance during puberty when animals grow fastest and become fertile. In the present study, all except one QTL effect for early body weight had dominance variance components. These might result from direct single-locus-dominant allelic expression, but also from the identified epistatic interaction between different QTLs that we have found for body weight at all ages. Beside body weight, body composition traits (muscle weight, reproductive fat weight, weight of inner organs) were analyzed. Sex-dimorphic QTLs were found for body weight and fat deposition. The identified early-growth QTLs could be the target of epigenetic modifications which might influence body weight at later ages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-004-3026-4DOI Listing
August 2004

Long-term growth selection of mice changes the intrinsic susceptibility of myogenic cells to apoptosis.

J Muscle Res Cell Motil 2004 ;25(2):177-85

Division Muscle Biology and Growth, Genetics and Biometry, Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany.

Myogenic cells were derived from mice long-term selected over 70 generations for high 6-weeks body weight (DU-6) and from unselected control mice (DU-Ks). The cells were grown in medium with 10% foetal bovine serum (FBS) for 8 days or transferred to low serum conditions (1% FBS) at days 4 and 6 of cultivation, respectively, and maintained for two further days. In both cell lines, serum reduction induced decreases in DNA and protein contents, and in DNA synthesis rate. It also triggered apoptotic cell death as demonstrated by increased DNA strand breaks and expression of active caspase-3. Concomitantly, the anti-apoptotic protein bcl-2 was enhanced. The basal frequency of apoptotic cells decreased with time of cultivation in both lines and was lower in DU-6 than in DU-Ks cells. However, the increase in apoptosis induced by serum reduction was more pronounced in DU-6 than in DU-Ks cells and did not differ between the time points of serum reduction. The results suggest that growth selection decreases the basal apoptosis frequency of muscle satellite cells under normal supply, but enhances the intrinsic susceptibility to growth factor withdrawal by serum deprivation as a severe apoptotic stimulus. Furthermore, the apoptotic response to growth factor withdrawal seems to be largely independent of the stage of myogenic development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/b:jure.0000035899.56521.7bDOI Listing
April 2005

Carbon and nitrogen content based estimation of the fat content of animal carcasses in various species.

Arch Anim Nutr 2004 Feb;58(1):37-46

Research Unit Nutritional Physiology "Oskar Kellner", Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals, Dummerstorf, Germany.

The objective of this study was to explore whether the C and N content can be used to estimate the fat content of animal carcasses. Considering the mean C and N contents of body fat and body protein, the fat content (EE) [%] can be predicted from C and N values [%] according to the generally valid equation EE = 1.3038 x C - 4.237 N. The application of this equation to estimate the total fat content of all animal carcasses results in significant differences in fat content between predicted and measured values. Therefore, we derived specific equations for rats, pigs, cattle, sheep, broilers and mice to predict the fat content by dual linear regression analysis (y = EE [% DM], x1 = C [% DM], x2 = N [% DM]) based on measured fat, C, and N contents of animal body samples. The specific equations for different animals showed residual standard deviations of 1.55, 1.63, 1.12, 1.35, 1.85 and 0.92% fat for rats, pigs, cattle, sheep, broilers and mice, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00039420310001656712DOI Listing
February 2004

Growth selection in mice reveals conserved and redundant expression patterns of the insulin-like growth factor system.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2004 Apr;136(2):248-59

Lehrstuhl für Molekulare Tierzucht und Biotechnologie/Genzentrum, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 81377 Munich, Germany.

Transgenic and knockout models have been used successfully in order to attribute specific functions to distinct growth factors. However, it is not clear which from the different IGF-components are actually altered when growth is affected. Furthermore it is not clear if unique or redundant patterns of IGF-component expression are present under conditions of elevated or reduced growth. To address these questions we have used a unique set of mouse models generated by divergent selection for high and low body growth. The set of mouse models consisted of eight mouse lines established in different laboratories. We have studied systemic and local expression of growth relevant genes in these mouse lines highly diverging for body and carcass weights but also for nose-rump lengths. As a strictly conserved pattern, serum IGF-I levels were dramatically increased in all H-lines if compared with the respective L-lines. By contrast serum IGFBP concentrations did not reveal clear patterns of expression in response to growth selection: IGFBP-3 was elevated in some H-lines, IGFBP-2 was increased in H- or L-lines and IGFBP-4 was similar in H- and L-lines. The fact that IGFBP-2 was the only IGFBP elevated in part of the L-lines, identifies IGFBP-2 as an exclusive although facultative negative effector for growth in the circulation among all other IGFBPs. In muscle tissue from selected breeding groups characterized by specific increases of the carcass weights we found redundant patterns of gene expression indicating the absence of tissue-specific or uniquely fixed expression patterns during growth selection within muscle tissue. The finding that serum but not tissue IGF-I levels were strictly positively correlated with growth during growth selection argues for an important role of endocrine IGF-I for postnatal growth in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2003.12.019DOI Listing
April 2004

Susceptibility to apoptosis in different murine muscle cell lines.

J Muscle Res Cell Motil 2003 ;24(8):521-6

Department of Neurology, University of Rostock, Gehlsheimner Strasse 20, D-18147 Rostock, Germany.

Objective of the study was to investigate growth characteristics and susceptibility to apoptosis in different murine muscle cell lines (selected for high body weight, DU-6; randomly mated control, DU-Ks; immortalized myoblast cell line, C2C12). Apoptosis was induced by serum deprivation. At days 4, 5, and 6 of cultivation, protein, DNA and the frequency of apoptotic cells were determined. Until day 4, C2C12 accumulated more DNA and protein compared with DU-Ks and DU-6, while exhibiting a lower percentage of apoptotic cells. Serum deprivation impaired the growth of each cell line. C2C12 continued to accumulate DNA and protein after serum deprivation, whereas reductions, indicative of cell death, were apparent in DU-Ks and DU-6. Serum deprivation did not enhance apoptosis in C2C12. Higher percentages of apoptosis were observed in DU-Ks and DU-6 after 2 days of serum deprivation with greater responsiveness of DU-6 to serum deprivation. The results suggest that cell loss in response to serum deprivation is in part due to induction of apoptosis. C2C12 are less sensitive to sub-optimal culture conditions compared with DU-Ks and DU-6 which are at a closer distance to the in vivo status. Moreover, long-term selection for growth decreases the basic frequency of apoptosis of muscle satellite cells, but increases their susceptibility to apoptosis induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/b:jure.0000009818.91051.30DOI Listing
November 2004