Data_Sheet_4_RNA-Seq of Liver From Pigs Divergent in Feed Efficiency Highlights Shifts in Macronutrient Metabolism, Hepatic Growth and Immune Response.PDF

Liver is a metabolically complex organ that influences nutrient partitioning and potentially modulates the efficiency of converting energy acquired from macronutrients ingestion into a muscle and/or adipose tissue (referred to as feed efficiency, FE). The objective of this study was to sequence the hepatic tissue transcriptome of closely related but differently feed efficient pigs (n = 16) and identify relevant biological processes that underpin the differences in liver phenotype between FE groups. Liver weight did not significantly differ between the FE groups, however, blood parameters showed that total protein, glucose, cholesterol and percentage of lymphocytes were significantly greater in high-FE pigs. Ontology analysis revealed carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism to be significantly enriched with differentially expressed genes. In particular, high-FE pigs exhibited gene expression patterns suggesting improved absorption of carbohydrates and cholesterol as well as enhanced reverse cholesterol transport. Furthermore, the inferred decrease in bile acid synthesis in high-FE pigs may contribute to the observed greater levels of serum glucose, which can be then delivered to cells and utilized for growth and maintenance. Gene ontology analysis also suggested that livers of more efficient pigs may be characterized by higher protein turnover and increased epithelial cell differentiation, whereby an enhanced quantity of invariant natural killer T-cells and viability of natural killer cells could induce a quicker and more effective hepatic response to inflammatory stimuli. Our findings suggest that this prompt hepatic response to inflammation in high-FE group may contribute to the more efficient utilization of nutrients for growth in these animals.