a1 Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition and Muscle Development, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling 712100, China
a2 College of Life Science and Technology, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu 610041, China
Using semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (semi-qRT-PCR), cell transfection, Hoechst 33342, acridine orange (AO) and flow cytometry methods, apoptotic changes in porcine pre-adipocytes treated with 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cisRA)–retinoid X receptor α (RXRα) ligand, transfected with pEnhanced green fluorescent proteins C2–RXRα (pEGFPC2–RXRα) or RXRα–small interfering RNA (RXRα–siRNA), respectively, were investigated. Observations of morphologic changes showed changes in cell structure, cellular shrinkage and condensation of chromatin, pyknosis of the nucleus into a compact body, complete fragmentation within the nuclear membrane, continuous budding and shedding, and, finally conversion of the cell into several apoptotic bodies wrapped in membranes of different sizes. Compared with the control group, the apoptotic rate was significantly lowered in the 10 nmol/l 9-cisRA-treated group, and significantly higher in the 10 μmol/l 9-cisRA-treated group (both P<0.05). Gene expression of RXRα was significantly up-regulated and down-regulated when cultured pre-adipocytes were transfected with pEGFPC2–RXRα or RXRα–siRNA (P<0.05), respectively; the apoptotic rate decreased in the pEGFPC2–RXRα group and significantly increased in the RXRα–siRNA group when compared with a control group (P<0.05). This implies that RXRα inhibits the apoptosis of porcine pre-adipocytes.
(Received September 06 2008)
(Accepted January 19 2009)
First published in Journal of Agricultural Biotechnology 2009, 17(3): 419–425