Amino Acids

, Volume 49, Issue 11, pp 1805–1814 | Cite as

Expression of cationic amino acid transporters in pig skeletal muscles during postnatal development

  • Aiko Ishida
  • Akane Ashihara
  • Kazuki Nakashima
  • Masaya Katsumata
Original Article


The cationic amino acid transporter (CAT) protein family transports lysine and arginine in cellular amino acid pools. We hypothesized that CAT expression changes in pig skeletal muscles during rapid pig postnatal development. We aimed to investigate the tissue distribution and changes in the ontogenic expression of CATs in pig skeletal muscles during postnatal development. Six piglets at 1, 12, 26, 45, and 75 days old were selected from six litters, and their longissimus dorsi (LD), biceps femoris (BF), and rhomboideus (RH) muscles, and their stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, liver, kidney, heart, and cerebrum were collected. CAT-1 was expressed in all the 12 tissues investigated. CAT-2 (CAT-2A isoform) expression was highest in the skeletal muscle and liver and lowest in the jejunum, ileum, kidney, and heart. CAT-3 was expressed mainly in the colon and detected in the jejunum, ileum, and cerebrum. The CAT-1 expression was higher in the skeletal muscle of day 1 pigs than in that of older pigs (P < 0.05). The CAT-2 mRNA level was lowest at day 1, but increased with postnatal development (P < 0.05). There was no significant change in CAT-1 expression among the LD, BF, and RH during postnatal development (P > 0.05); however, there was a change in CAT-2 expression. The CAT-2 expression was highest in the LD of 12-, 26-, 45-, and 75-day-old pigs, followed by the BF and RH (P < 0.05). These results suggest that CAT-1 and CAT-2 play different roles in pig skeletal muscles during postnatal development.


Cationic amino acid transporter Pig Postnatal development Skeletal muscle 



The authors are grateful to the animal care team of the Pig Unit of NARO for the care of the pigs and support for the sample collections. Part of this work was previously published as an abstract and presented as a poster at the 4th EAAP International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition, 9–12 September, California, USA (Ishida et al. 2013). In this research, we used the supercomputer of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research IT (AFFRIT), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.


This work was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (Grant No. 26850170) from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan.

Supplementary material

726_2017_2478_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (2.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 2985 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aiko Ishida
    • 1
  • Akane Ashihara
    • 1
  • Kazuki Nakashima
    • 1
  • Masaya Katsumata
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Livestock and Grassland ScienceNAROTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.School of Veterinary ScienceAzabu UniversitySagamiharaJapan

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