Inter genotype differences in expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism in the establishment of hepatic steatosis in Muscovy, Pekin and mule ducks

  • Annabelle Tavernier
  • Stéphane Davail
  • Marianne Houssier
  • Marie-Dominique Bernadet
  • Karine Ricaud
  • Karine GontierEmail author
Short Communication


In waterfowls, overfeeding leads to a hepatic steatosis, also called “foie gras”. Our main objectives were to determine what is the share of genes involvement of glucose metabolism in the establishment of fatty liver in three genotypes of waterfowls: Muscovy (Cairina moschata), Pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) and their crossbreed, the mule duck. 288 male ducks of Pekin, Muscovy and mule genotypes were reared until weeks 12 and overfed between weeks 12 and 14. We analysed gene expression at the beginning, the middle and the end of the overfeeding period in different tissues. We have shown an upregulation of glucose transporters (GLUT) in peripheral tissues (pectoralis major or adipose tissue) in Pekin ducks. In addition, GLUT2 was not found in jejunal mucosa and another GLUT seems to replace it 3 h after the meal: GLUT3. Mule ducks upregulating GLUT3 earlier compared to Pekin ducks. However, these results need further investigations. In liver, globally, Pekin ducks exhibit the highest expression of GLUT or enzymes implicated in glycolysis. The few significant variations of gene expressions in glucose metabolism between these three genotypes and the momentary specific overexpression of GLUT do not allow us to detect a lot of specific genotype differences. To conclude, the differences in response to overfeeding of Pekin, Muscovy and mule ducks, for the establishment of hepatic steatosis, cannot be only explained by the glucose metabolism at transcriptomic level.


Hepatic steatosis Glucose metabolism Gene expression Ducks 



We thank the “Conseil Général des Landes” and the “Comité Interprofessionnel des Palmipèdes à Foie Gras” (CIFOG) for financing this work. We also thank the technical staff of INRA Artiguères for rearing ducks (Certificate of Authorization to Experiment on Living animals, no. B40-037-1, Ministry of Agriculture and Fish Products, ethic committee Aquitaine birds and fish no. C2EA-73). We would also like to thank Frédéric Martins and Jean-José Maoret for performing Fluidigm analysis (Génopole Toulouse/Midi-Pyrénées, Plateau Transcriptomique Quantitative (TQ), Toulouse, France). We finally thanks Patrick Daniel, Karine Bellet and Martine Chague of the laboratory Pyrénées Landes (LPL, Mont de Marsan) to let us use their material.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All experimental procedures involving ducks were in accordance with the French National Guidelines for the care of animal for research purposes: Ethic committee 73, Comité d’éthique Aquitaine Poissons Oiseaux Project No. 01913.02.


  1. 1.
    Fon Tacer K, Rozman D (2011) Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: focus on lipoprotein and lipid deregulation. J Lipids 2011:783976. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fernandez X, Bouillier-Oudot M, Molette C et al (2011) Duration of transport and holding in lairage at constant postprandial delay to slaughter—effects on fatty liver and breast muscle quality in mule ducks. Poult Sci 90:2360–2369. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hermier D, Saadounb A, Salichonb M et al (1991) Plasma lipoproteins and liver lipids in two breeds of geese with different susceptibility to hepatic steatosis: changes induced by development and force-feeding. Lipids 26:331–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Saadoun A, Leclercq B (1986) In vivo lipogenesis of genetically lean and fat chickens: effects of nutritional state and dietary fat. J Nutr 87:428–435Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wright EM, Turk E (2004) The sodium/glucose cotransport family SLC5. Pflug Arch Eur J Physiol 447:510–518. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gal-garber O, Mabjeesh SJ, Sklan D, Uni Z (2000) Nutrient-gene expression partial sequence and expression of the gene for and activity of the sodium glucose transporter in the small intestine of fed Starved and Refed Chickens. J Nutr 130:2174–2179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thorens B, Charron MJ, Lodish HF (1990) Molecular physiology of glucose transporters. Diabetes Care 13:209–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kono T, Nishida M, Nishiki Y et al (2005) Characterisation of glucose transporter (GLUT) gene expression in broiler chickens. Br Poult Sci 46:510–515. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Humphrey BD, Stephensen CB, Calvert CC, Klasing KC (2004) Glucose and cationic amino acid transporter expression in growing chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). Comp Biochem Physiol A 138:515–525. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chartrin P, Bernadet M-D, Guy G et al (2006) Does overfeeding enhance genotype effects on energy metabolism and lipid deposition in breast muscle of ducks? Comp Biochem Physiol A 145:413–418. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Saez G, Davail S, Gentès G et al (2009) Gene expression and protein content in relation to intramuscular fat content in Muscovy and Pekin ducks. Poult Sci 88:2382–2391. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    André JM, Guy G, Gontier-Latonnelle K et al (2007) Influence of lipoprotein-lipase activity on plasma triacylglycerol concentration and lipid storage in three genotypes of ducks. Comp Biochem Physiol A 148:899–902. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tavernier A, Davail S, Ricaud K et al (2017) Genes involved in the establishment of hepatic steatosis in Muscovy, Pekin and mule ducks. Mol Cell Biochem 424:147–161. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Arroyo J, Molette C, Lavigne F et al (2018) Effects of dietary protein level during rearing period and age at overfeeding on magret and foie gras quality in male mule ducks. Anim Sci J 89:570–578. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Arroyo J, Molette C, Lavigne F et al (2019) Influence of the corn form in the diet and length of fasting before slaughter on the performance of overfed mule ducks. Poult Sci 98:753–760. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Livak KJ, Schmittgen TD (2001) Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(−Delta Delta C(T)) method. Methods 25:402–408. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tavernier A, Ricaud K, Bernadet M-D et al (2017) Kinetics of expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism after the last meal in overfed mule ducks. Mol Cell Biochem 1–2:127–137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ruhnke I, Röhe I, Goodarzi Boroojeni F et al (2015) Feed supplemented with organic acids does not affect starch digestibility, nor intestinal absorptive or secretory function in broiler chickens. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 99:29–35. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Garriga C, Moreto M, Planas JM (1997) Hexose transport across the basolateral membrane of the chicken jejunum. Am J Physiol 272:R1330–R1335PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mueckler M, Thorens B (2013) The SLC2 (GLUT) family of membrane transporters. Mol Aspects Med 34:121–138. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zhang W, Sumners LH, Siegel PB et al (2013) Quantity of glucose transporter and appetite-associated factor mRNA in various tissues after insulin injection in chickens selected for low or high body weight. Physiol Genom. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Coudert E, Pascal G, Dupont J et al (2015) Phylogenesis and biological characterization of a new glucose transporter in the chicken (Gallus gallus), GLUT12. PLoS ONE 10:1–18. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gaster M, Handberg A, Schürmann A et al (2004) GLUT11, but not GLUT8 or GLUT12, is expressed in human skeletal muscle in a fibre type-specific pattern. Pflug Arch Eur J Physiol 448:105–113. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nutrition, Métabolisme, AquacultureINRA, Univ. Pau & Pays Adour, E2S UPPA, UMR 1419Saint-Pée-sur-NivelleFrance
  2. 2.INRA UEPFGBenquetFrance
  3. 3.UMR 1419 INRA UPPA NuMéAMont-de-MarsanFrance

Personalised recommendations