European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 483–490 | Cite as

Postnatal high-fat diet enhances ectopic fat deposition in pigs with intrauterine growth retardation

  • Honglin Yan
  • Ping Zheng
  • Bing Yu
  • Jie Yu
  • Xiangbing Mao
  • Jun He
  • Zhiqing Huang
  • Daiwen Chen
Original Contribution



Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and postnatal nutrition are risk factors for adult metabolic syndrome. However, the influences of long-term high-fat diet (HFD) intake on ectopic fat deposition in non-adipose tissues in IUGR pigs remain unclear. The present study was to determine whether HFD consumption would enhance ectopic fat deposition in IUGR pigs.


At day 28, IUGR and control pigs were fed ad libitum to either a regular diet or a HFD. Lipid store, enzymatic activities and mRNA expression of lipid metabolism-related factors in liver and semitendinosus muscle (SM) were quantified at postnatal day 178.


Feeding a HFD to IUGR pigs but not to control pigs significantly increased daily weight gain, carcass fat mass, plasma leptin level and lipid content and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity and mRNA abundances of LPL and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) in liver and SM, but decreased daily feed intake and mRNA expression of hormone-sensitive lipase (LIPE) and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (CPT-1) in liver and SM (P < 0.05). Compared with control pigs, IUGR pigs had a lower body weight but higher plasma levels of total cholesterol (TC) and insulin (P < 0.05). HFD-fed pigs exhibited greater body weight, plasma concentrations of triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), regardless of birth weight (P < 0.05).


Our results suggested that IUGR increased the vulnerability of HFD-fed pigs to ectopic fat deposition via enhanced fatty acid flux toward ectopic sites and reduced lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation.


Intrauterine growth retardation Ectopic fat deposition Liver Skeletal muscle Pigs 



This study was financially supported by the earmarked fund for the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-36).

Author’s contributions

D. C., B. Y., J. Y., X. M., P. Z., Z. H. and J. H. contributed to the experimental design and data interpretation and helped in drafting the manuscript. H. Y. carried out the study. H. Y. and P. Z. were responsible for the writing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Honglin Yan, Ping Zheng, Bing Yu, Jie Yu, Xiangbing Mao, Jun He, Zhiqing Huang and Daiwen Chen declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Honglin Yan
    • 1
  • Ping Zheng
    • 1
  • Bing Yu
    • 1
  • Jie Yu
    • 1
  • Xiangbing Mao
    • 1
  • Jun He
    • 1
  • Zhiqing Huang
    • 1
  • Daiwen Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition, Ministry of Education, China, Animal Nutrition InstituteSichuan Agricultural UniversityYa’anPeople’s Republic of China

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