Research Papers:

Pharmacologic activation of peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-α accelerates hepatic fatty acid oxidation in neonatal pigs

Kwanseob Shim, Sheila Jacobi, Jack Odle and Xi Lin _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:23900-23914. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25199

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Kwanseob Shim1,2, Sheila Jacobi1,3, Jack Odle1 and Xi Lin1

1Laboratory of Developmental Nutrition, Department of Animal Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

2Current/Present address: Department of Animal Biotechnology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, 561-756 Republic of Korea

3Current/Present address: Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691, USA

Correspondence to:

Xi Lin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pig; liver; PPARα; clofibrate; fatty acid oxidation

Received: August 30, 2017    Accepted: April 02, 2018    Published: May 08, 2018


Up-regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-α (PPARα) and increasing fatty acid oxidation are important for reducing pre-weaning mortality of pigs. We examined the time-dependent regulatory effects of PPARα activation via oral postnatal clofibrate administration (75 mg/(kg-BW·d) for up to 7 days) on mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation in pigs, a species with limited hepatic fatty acid oxidative capacity due to low ketogenesis. Hepatic oxidation was increased by 44-147% (depending on fatty acid chain-length) and was attained after only 4 days of clofibrate treatment. Acyl-CoA oxidase (ACO) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPTI) activities accelerated in parallel. The increase in CPTI activity was accompanied by a rapid reduction in the sensitivity of CPTI to malonyl-CoA inhibition. The mRNA abundance of CPTI and ACO, as well as peroxisomal keto-acyl-CoA thiolase (KetoACoA) and mitochondrial malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD), also were augmented greatly. However, the increase in ACO activity and MCD expression were different from CPTI, and significant interactions were observed between postnatal age and clofibrate administration. Furthermore, the expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase β (ACCβ) decreased with postnatal age and clofibrate had no effect on its expression. Collectively these results demonstrate that the expression of PPARα target genes and the increase in fatty acid oxidation induced by clofibrate are time- and age-dependent in the liver of neonatal pigs. Although the induction patterns of CPTI, MCD, ACO, KetoACoA, and ACCβ are different during the early postnatal period, 4 days of exposure to clofibrate were sufficient to robustly accelerate fatty acid oxidation.

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