Cellular regulation of bovine intramuscular adipose tissue development and composition. Conference Paper uri icon


  • It is well documented that grain feeding stimulates adipogenesis in beef cattle, whereas pasture feeding depresses the development of adipose tissues, including intramuscular (i.m.) adipose tissue. Additionally, production practices that depress adipocyte differentiation also limit the synthesis of MUFA. Marbling scores and MUFA increase in parallel suggesting that stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase (SCD) gene expression is closely associated with and necessary for marbling adipocyte differentiation. Similarly, marbling scores and fatty acid indices of SCD activity are depressed in response to dietary vitamin A restriction. In bovine preadipocytes, vitamins A and D both decrease glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) activity, an index of adipocyte differentiation, whereas incubation of bovine preadipocytes with l-ascorbic acid-2-phosphate increases GPDH activity. Exposing bovine preadipocytes to zinc also stimulates adipogenesis, putatively by inhibiting nitric oxide (NO) production. However, incubation of bovine preadipocytes with arginine, a biological precursor of NO, strongly promotes differentiation in concert with increased SCD expression. This suggests that the effect of either arginine or zinc on adipogenesis is independent of NO synthesis in bovine preadipocytes. Enhanced expression of SCD is associated with a greater accumulation of MUFA both in bovine preadipocyte cultures and during development in growing steers. In bovine preadipocytes, trans-10, cis-12 CLA strongly depresses adipocyte differentiation and SCD gene expression, thereby reducing MUFA concentrations. The bovine preadipocyte culture studies suggest that any production practice that elevates vitamins A or D or trans-10, cis-12 CLA in bovine adipose tissue will reduce i.m. adipose tissue development. Conversely, supplementation with vitamin C or zinc may promote the development of i.m. adipose tissue.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, S. B., Kawachi, H., Choi, C. B., Choi, C. W., Wu, G., & Sawyer, J. E.

citation count

  • 121

complete list of authors

  • Smith, SB||Kawachi, H||Choi, CB||Choi, CW||Wu, G||Sawyer, JE

publication date

  • April 2009