Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.423, No.1, 170-175, 2012
Differences in lipid deposition and adipose membrane biophysical properties from lean and obese pigs under dietary protein restriction
Obesity consists in fat accumulation leading to increase in adipose cells number and size. Adipocyte membrane biophysical properties are critical to maintain cellular viability in metabolically healthy obesity. This study investigated the effect of the genetic background and dietary protein restriction on fat tissue lipid composition, adipocyte membrane fluidity and water permeability using the pig as experimental model. Twenty-four male pigs from distinct genotypes, lean and obese, were fed on normal and reduced protein diets within a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement (two genotypes and two diets). Backfat thickness was twofold higher in obese than in lean pigs but unrelated to dietary protein level. In contrast, total fatty acids in the subcutaneous adipose tissue were dependent on both breed and diet, with increased lipid content promoted by the fatty genotype and by the restriction of dietary protein. Adipose membranes isolated from obese pig's subcutaneous fat tissue showed higher permeability to water, in line with an increased fluidity. Moreover, the reduced content of dietary protein influenced positively the fluidity of adipose membranes. Neither genotype nor diet affected total cholesterol concentration in the adipose membranes. Membrane-saturated fatty acids' content was influenced by genotype, while membrane-polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly from the n-6 family, was influenced by diet. The ratio of oleic (18:1c9)/linoleic (18:2n-6) acids was positively correlated with membrane fluidity. All together, these findings reinforce the genetic background as a determinant player on adipose membrane biophysical properties and point to the dietary protein level as an important factor for subcutaneous lipid deposition as well as for regulation of membrane function, factors that may have impact on human obesity and metabolic syndrome. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.