The objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of cloned pigs as porcine obesity models reflecting obesity-associated changes in innate immune factor gene expression profiles. Liver and adipose tissue expression of 43 innate immune genes as well as serum concentrations of six immune factors were analyzed in lean and diet-induced obese cloned domestic pigs and compared to normal domestic pigs (obese and lean). The number of genes affected by obesity was lower in cloned animals than in control animals. All genes affected by obesity in adipose tissues of clones were downregulated; both upregulation and downregulation were observed in the controls. Cloning resulted in a less differentiated adipose tissue expression pattern. Finally, the serum concentrations of two acute-phase proteins (APPs), haptoglobin (HP) and orosomucoid (ORM), were increased in obese clones as compared to obese controls as well as lean clones and controls. Generally, the variation in phenotype between individual pigs was not reduced in cloned siblings as compared to normal siblings. Therefore, we conclude that cloning limits both the number of genes responding to obesity as well as the degree of tissue-differentiated gene expression, concomitantly with an increase in APP serum concentrations only seen in cloned, obese pigs. This may suggest that the APP response seen in obese, cloned pigs is a consequence of the characteristic skewed gene response to obesity in cloned pigs, as described in this work. This should be taken into consideration when using cloned animals as models for innate responses to obesity.
Cellular Reprogramming, 2013, Vol 15, Issue 3, p. 185-194