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DNA microarray analysis reveals differential gene expression in the soleus muscle between male and female rats exposed to a high fat diet

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It is well recognized that diet-induced dysfunctions in skeletal muscle are closely related with many metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. In the present study, we identified global changes in gender-dependent gene expressions in the soleus muscle of lean and obese rats fed a high fat diet (HFD), using DNA microarray analysis. Prior to microarray analysis, the body weight gains were found to be higher in male HFD rats than the female HFD rats. To better understand the detailed phenotypic differences in response to HFD feeding, we identified differential gene expression in soleus muscle between the genders. To this end, we extracted and summarized the genes that were up- or down-regulated more than 1.5-fold between the genders in the microarray data. As expected, a greater number of genes encoding myofibrillar proteins and glycolytic proteins were expressed higher in males than females when exposed to HFD, reflecting greater muscular activity and higher capacity for utilizing glucose as an energy fuel. However, a series of genes involved in oxidative metabolism and cellular defenses were more up-regulated in females than males. These results allowed us to conclude that compared to males, females have greater fat clearing capacity in skeletal muscle through the activation of genes encoding enzymes for fat oxidation. In conclusion, our microarray data provide a better understanding of the molecular events underlying gender dimorphism in soleus muscle, and will provide valuable information in improving gender awareness in the health care system.

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Abcd2 :

ATP-binding cassette sub-family D member 2

Actg2 :

Smooth muscle γ-actin

Ak3l1 :

Adenylate kinase isoenzyme 4, mitochondrial

Angptl4 :

Angiopoietin-related protein 4

Atp :

ATP synthease

Col1a1 :

Collagen, type I, α-1

Eno3 :


Gstm5 :

Glutathione S-transferase μ 5


High-fat diet

Il15 :

Interleukin 5

Myh :

Myosin heavy chain


Normal diet

Per2 :

Period circadian protein homolog 2

Ppargc1a :

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma coactivator 1-α

Pfkp :

Phosphofructokinase, platelet

Pvalb :


RT1-A1 :

RT1 class Ia, locus A1

Slc25 :

Solute carrier family 25 (carnitine/acylcarnitine translocase)

Tnni2 :

Troponin I type 2

Tpm1 :

Tropomyosin α-1 chain


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This study was supported by Daegu University Research Grant 2010. The authors extend their thanks to Dr. Young Ju Bae of Macrogen Inc. (Seoul, Korea) for her technical assistance in microarray analysis.

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Correspondence to Jong Won Yun.

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Oh, T.S., Yun, J.W. DNA microarray analysis reveals differential gene expression in the soleus muscle between male and female rats exposed to a high fat diet. Mol Biol Rep 39, 6569–6580 (2012).

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