Global Transcriptional Profiling in Porcine Mammary Glands from Late Pregnancy to Peak Lactation

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, People's Republic of China.
Omics: a journal of integrative biology (Impact Factor: 2.36). 03/2012; 16(3):123-37. DOI: 10.1089/omi.2011.0116
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Sow milk yield and quality is crucial for the survival and growth of piglets. To understand the molecular mechanisms of lactogenesis and lactation, mammary tissue samples were taken from six sows at -17(±2), 1 and 17(±2) days relative to parturition. Mammary tissues from two sows in the same stage were used to extract RNA, which were subsequently pooled in equal amounts. Nine pooled samples were hybridized to porcine Affymetrix GeneChips. Totally 1,524 genes were detected as significantly differentially expressed over the time course tested (p<0.01, q<0.01, fold change≥2 or ≤-2), including 709 upregulated and 575 downregulated genes identified at peak lactation compared to late pregnancy. Gene ontology analysis revealed that most of the upregulated genes were involved in transport, biosynthetic processes, and homeostasis, whereas most of the downregulated genes were involved in intracellular signaling cascades, cell cycle, and DNA replication. Furthermore, we identified 64 differentially expressed genes of the solute carrier families. Taken together, our microarray analysis provides insights into previously uncharacterized changes in transcriptome between late pregnancy and peak lactation in the porcine mammary gland. The solute carrier genes and other differentially expressed genes identified in this study will guide further characterization of their function to enhance milk yield and piglet growth.

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