Dietary fat quantity and type induce transcriptome-wide effects on alternative splicing of pre-mRNA in rat Skeletal Muscle

Adam J. Black, Suhana Ravi, Leonard S. Jefferson, Scot R. Kimball, Rudolf J. Schilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Fat-enriched diets produce metabolic changes in skeletal muscle, which in turn can mediate changes in gene regulation. Objective: We examined the high-fat-diet-induced changes in skeletal muscle gene expression by characterizing variations in pre-mRNA alternative splicing. Methods: Affymetrix Exon Array analysis was performed on the transcriptome of the gastrocnemius/plantaris complex of male obesity-prone Sprague-Dawley rats fed a 10% or 60% fat (lard) diet for 2 or 8 wk. The validation of exon array results was focused on troponin T (Tnnt3). Tnnt3 splice form analyses were extended in studies of rats fed 10% or 30% fat diets across 1- to 8-wk treatment periods and rats fed 10% or 45% fat diets with fat sources from lard or mono- or polyunsaturated fats for 2 wk. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) was used to measure body composition. Results: Consumption of a 60% fat diet for 2 or 8 wk resulted in alternative splicing of 668 and 726 pre-mRNAs, respectively, compared with rats fed a 10% fat diet. Tnnt3 transcripts were alternatively spliced in rats fed a 60% fat diet for either 2 or 8 wk. The high-fat-diet-induced changes in Tnnt3 alternative splicing were observed in rats fed a 30% fat diet across 1- to 8-wk treatment periods. Moreover, this effect depended on fat type, because Tnnt3 alternative splicing occurred in response to 45% fat diets enriched with lard but not in response to diets enriched with mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fat mass (a proxy for obesity as measured by NMR) did not differ between groups in any study. Conclusions: Rat skeletal muscle responds to overconsumption of dietary fat by modifying gene expression through premRNA alternative splicing. Variations in Tnnt3 alternative splicing occur independently of obesity and are dependent on dietary fat quantity and suggest a role for saturated fatty acids in the high-fat-diet-induced modifications in Tnnt3 alternative splicing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1648-1657
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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