Body weight loss in beef cows: I. The effect of increased β-oxidation on messenger ribonucleic acid levels of uncoupling proteins two and three and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor in skeletal muscle

K. M. Brennan, J. J. Michal, Jon J Ramsey, K. A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Twenty-six Angus-cross cows were studied during BW loss (WL) and BW maintenance (WM) to examine the effects of elevated β-oxidation on mRNA levels of NEFA-responsive signaling molecules in skeletal muscle. At the end of the WL and WM sampling periods, muscle biopsies were removed from the biceps femoris and mRNA levels were measured using real-time PCR. In comparison with WM, cows undergoing WL had elevated mRNA levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (4.6-fold), fatty acid binding protein 3 (2.0-fold), and acyl-coenzyme A oxidase 1 (2.8-fold), all of which are indicators of β-oxidation. Levels of mRNA of the NEFA-responsive signaling molecules PPAR α, Δ, and γ increased 2.0-fold, 2.2-fold, and 1.84-fold, respectively, during WL. Uncoupling proteins 2 and 3 also had increased mRNA (3.0-fold and 6.0-fold, respectively) during WL, but Western blot analysis found no changes in protein abundance of uncoupling protein 3. Uncoupling protein expression can be directly stimulated by elevated NEFA, potentially to protect cells from damage by lipid oxidation by-products. Thus, an increase in mRNA levels of genes involved in β-oxidation of fatty acids and fatty acid by-products occurs during BW loss in beef cattle. These data support previous findings in nonruminants and suggest that these genes play a role in the same physiological processes in ruminants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2860-2866
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009



  • β-oxidation
  • Beef cattle
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Uncoupling protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • Genetics

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