Michael L Blackburn

Arkansas Children's Hospital, Kansas, United States

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Publications (35)146.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The proportion of pregnant women who are obese at conception continues to rise. Compelling evidence suggests the intrauterine environment is an important determinant of offspring health. Maternal obesity and unhealthy diets are shown to promote metabolic programming in the offspring. Mitochondria are maternally inherited and we have previously shown impaired mitochondrial function in rat offspring exposed to maternal obesity in utero. Mitochondrial health is maintained by mitochondrial dynamics, or the processes of fusion and fission, which serve to repair damaged mitochondria, remove irreparable mitochondria, and maintain mitochondrial morphology. An imbalance between fusion and fission has been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and reproduction complications. In the present study, we examined the influence of maternal obesity and post-weaning high fat diet (HFD) on key regulators of mitochondrial fusion and fission in rat offspring at important developmental milestones which included post-natal day (PND)35 (2 wk HFD) and PND130 (∼16 wk HFD). Our results indicate HFD-fed offspring had reduced mRNA expression of presenilin associated rhomboid-like (PARL), optic atrophy (OPA)1, mitofusin (Mfn)1, Mfn2, fission (Fis)1, and nuclear respiratory factor (Nrf)1 at PND35, while OPA1 and Mfn2 remained decreased at PND130. Putative transcriptional regulators of mitochondrial dynamics were reduced in rat placenta and offspring liver and skeletal muscle (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator (PGC1)α, PGC1β, and estrogen-related receptor (ERR)α), consistent with indirect calorimetry findings revealing reduced energy expenditure and impaired fat utilization. Overall, maternal obesity detrimentally alters mitochondrial targets that may contribute to impaired mitochondrial health and increased obesity susceptibility in later life.
    Physiological Genomics 10/2014; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Differences in trace element composition and bioavailability between breast milk and infant formulas may affect metal homeostasis in neonates. However, there is a paucity of controlled studies in this area. Here, piglets were fed soy infant formula (soy), cow's milk formula (milk), or were allowed to suckle from the sow from PND2 to PND21. Serum iron concentrations were higher in formula-fed compared to breastfed piglets (P < 0.05). Serum zinc values were higher in milk compared to breastfed or soy groups (P < 0.05). Zinc transporter Zip4 mRNA was elevated in small intestine of the soy compared to breastfed group (P < 0.05). Transporter Znt1 mRNA was greater in small intestine of both formula-fed groups and in liver of the milk compared to the breastfed group (P < 0.05). Metallothionein Mt1 mRNA expression was higher in small intestine and liver of milk compared to breastfed and soy groups (P < 0.05). In liver, metallothionein protein levels and protein bound zinc were also highly elevated in the milk compared to other groups (P < 0.05). mRNA encoding the hepatic zinc-regulated gene Gclc was higher in the milk than soy group (P < 0.05). ChIP assay revealed increased binding of the zinc-regulated transcription factor MTF1 to the promoters of hepatic Mt3 and Gclc genes in the milk compared to the soy group. These data provide evidence that trace element status differs in breastfed, milk-fed, and soy-fed piglets and that despite similar levels of dietary supplementation, allows strong causal inference that significant differences in serum zinc after cow's milk formula compared to soy formula consumption result in compensatory changes in expression of zinc transporters, binding proteins, and zinc-regulated genes.
    Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.). 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that the beneficial effects of soy protein isolate (SPI) on bone quality are due to either stimulation of estrogenic signaling via isoflavones or through a novel and as yet uncharacterized nonestrogenic pathway. In our study, SPI-fed rat serum inhibited the osteoblastic cell senescence pathway. This effect was accompanied by stimulation of cell differentiation, proliferation, and significant restoration of replicative senescent bone marrow mesenchymal ST2 cells (passaged 30 times). These effects were reproduced in bone from 5-wk-old intact and 10-wk-old ovariectomized female rats fed SPI diets. Caveolin-1 and p53 expression was decreased in bone in SPI-fed, but not in 17β-estradiol (E2)-treated rats. In cell culture studies, membranous caveolin-1 and nuclear p53 expression was greater in replicative senescent ST2 cell cultures than in earlier passaged cells. SPI-fed rat serum significantly down-regulated both caveolin-1 and p53 in senescent and nonsenescent cells. Replicative senescent ST2 cells exhibited a strong association among caveolin-1, p53, and mouse double minute 2 homologue (mdm2), which was inhibited by SPI-fed rat serum. Overexpression of caveolin-1 in ST2 cells resulted in increased expression of p53 and p21, whereas, knockdown of caveolin-1 using shRNA led to increases in mdm2 and eliminated SPI-fed rat serum's effects on p53 and p21 expression. In contrast, manipulation of caveolin-1 expression did not affect the actions of E2 or isoflavones on p53 expression in either ST2 or OB6 cells. These results suggest that caveolin-1 is a mediator of nonestrogenic SPI effects on bone cells.-Zhang, J., Lazarenko, O. P., Blackburn, M. L., Badger, T. M., Ronis, M. J. J., Chen, J.-R. Soy protein isolate down-regulates caveolin-1 expression to suppress osteoblastic cell senescence pathways.
    The FASEB Journal 04/2014; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol abuse is associated with the development of fatty liver disease and also with significant osteopenia in both genders. In this study, we examined ethanol-induced pathology in response to diets with differing fat/carbohydrate ratios. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed intragastrically with isocaloric liquid diets. Dietary fat content was either 5% (high carbohydrate, HC) or 45% (high fat, HF), with or without ethanol (12–13 g/kg/day). After 14, 28, or 65 days, livers were harvested and analyzed. In addition, bone morphology was analyzed after 65 days. HC rats gained more weight and had larger fat pads than HF rats with or without ethanol. Steatosis developed in HC + ethanol (HC+EtOH) compared to HF + ethanol (HF+EtOH) rats, accompanied by increased fatty acid (FA) synthesis and increased nuclear carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP) (p < 0.05), but in the absence of effects on hepatic silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog (SIRT-1) or nuclear sterol regulatory binding element protein (SREBP-1c). Ethanol reduced serum leptin (p < 0.05) but not adiponectin. Over time, HC rats developed fatty liver independent of ethanol. FA degradation was significantly elevated by ethanol in both HC and HF groups (p < 0.05). HF+EtOH rats had increased oxidative stress from 28 days, increased necrosis compared to HF controls and higher expression of cytochromes P450, CYP2E1, and CYP4A1 compared to HC+EtOH rats (p < 0.05). In contrast, HC+EtOH rats had no significant increase in oxidative stress until day 65 with no observed increase in necrosis. Unlike liver pathology, no dietary differences were observed on ethanol-induced osteopenia in HC compared to HF groups. These data demonstrate that interactions between diet composition and alcohol are complex, dependent on the length of exposure, and are an important influence in development of fatty liver injury. Importantly, it appears that diet composition does not affect alcohol-associated skeletal toxicity.
    Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) 01/2014; · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The risk of obesity in adulthood is subject to programming beginning at conception. In animal models, exposure to maternal obesity and high fat diets influences the risk of obesity in the offspring. Among other long-term changes, offspring from obese rats develop hyperinsulinemia, hepatic steatosis, and lipogenic gene expression in the liver at weaning. However, the precise underlying mechanisms leading to metabolic dysregulation in the offspring remains unclear. Using a rat model of overfeeding-induced obesity, we previously demonstrated that exposure to maternal obesity from pre-conception to birth, is sufficient to program increased obesity risk in the offspring. Offspring of obese rat dams gain greater body weight and fat mass when fed high fat diet (HFD) as compared to lean dam. Since, disruptions of diurnal circadian rhythm are known to detrimentally impact metabolically active tissues such as liver, we examined the hypothesis that maternal obesity leads to perturbations of core clock components and thus energy metabolism in offspring liver. Offspring from lean and obese dams were examined at post-natal day 35, following a short (2 wk) HFD challenge. Hepatic mRNA expression of circadian (CLOCK, BMAL1, REV-ERBα, CRY, PER) and metabolic (PPARα, SIRT1) genes were strongly suppressed in offspring exposed to both maternal obesity and HFD. Using a mathematical model, we identified two distinct biological mechanisms that modulate PPARα mRNA expression: i) decreased mRNA synthesis rates; and ii) increased non-specific mRNA degradation rate. Moreover, our findings demonstrate that changes in PPARα transcription were associated with epigenomic alterations in H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 histone marks near the PPARα transcription start site. Our findings indicated that offspring from obese rat dams have detrimental alternations to circadian machinery that may contribute to impaired liver metabolism in response to HFD, specifically via reduced PPARα expression prior to obesity development.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e84209. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isoflavones are phytochemical components of soy diets that bind weakly to estrogen receptors (ERs). To study potential estrogen-like actions of soy in the mammary gland during early development, we fed weanling male and female Sprague-Dawley rats a semi-purified diet with casein as the sole protein source from PND21 to PND33, the casein diet supplemented with estradiol (E2) at 10 μg/kg/day or the same diet substituting soy protein isolate (SPI) for casein. In contrast to E2, the SPI diet induced no significant change in mammary morphology. In males, there were 34 genes for which expression was changed ≥2-fold in the SPI group versus 509 changed significantly by E2, and 8 versus 174 genes in females. Nearly half of SPI-responsive genes in males were also E2-responsive, including adipogenic genes. Serum insulin was found to be decreased by the SPI diet in males. SPI and E2 both down-regulated the expression of ERα (Esr1) in males and females, and ERβ (Esr2) only in males. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) revealed an increased binding of ERα to the promoter of the progesterone receptor (Pgr) and Esr1 in both SPI and E2 treated males compared to the casein group but differential recruitment of ERβ. ER promoter binding did not correlate with differences in Pgr mRNA expression. This suggests that SPI fails to recruit appropriate co-activators at E2-inducible genes. Our results are unsupportive of an E2-like proliferative effect of SPI feeding and indicate that SPI behaves like a SERM rather than a weak estrogen in the developing mammary gland.
    Physiological Genomics 09/2013; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A blueberry (BB) supplemented diet has been previously shown to significantly stimulate bone formation in rapidly growing male and female rodents. Phenolic acids (PAs) are metabolites derived from polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables as a result of the actions of gut bacteria, and they were found in the serum of rats fed BB-containing diet. We conducted in vitro studies with PAs and demonstrated stimulation of osteoblast differentiation and proliferation. On the other hand, adipogenesis was inhibited. To more fully understand the mechanistic actions of PAs on bone formation, we administered hippuric acid, one of the major metabolites found in animal circulation after BB consumption, to prepubertal female mice for two weeks. We found that hippuric acid was able to stimulate bone forming gene expression but suppress PPARγ expression leading to increased bone mass dose-dependently. Cellular signaling studies further suggested that the skeletal effects of PAs appeared to be mediated through activation of G protein coupled receptor 109A and down-stream p38 MAP kinase and osterix. In conclusion, PAs are capable of altering the mesenchymal stem cell differentiation program and merit investigation as potential dietary therapeutic alternatives to drugs for degenerative bone disorders.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 07/2013; · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In both rodents and humans, excessive consumption of a typical Western diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol is known to result in disruption of energy metabolism and development of obesity and insulin resistance. However, how these high-fat, energy-dense diets affect bone development, morphology, and modeling is poorly understood. Here we show that male weanling rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet containing 45% fat and 0.5% cholesterol made with casein (HF-Cas) for 6 wk displayed a significant increase in bone marrow adiposity and insulin resistance. Substitution of casein with soy protein isolate (SPI) in the HF diet (HF-SPI) prevented these effects. Maintenance of bone quantity in the SPI-fed rats was associated with increased undercarboxylated osteocalcin secretion and altered JNK/IRS1/Akt insulin signaling in osteoblasts. The HF-Cas group had significantly greater serum nonesterified free fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations than controls, whereas the HF-SPI prevented this increase. In vitro treatment of osteoblasts or mesenchymal stromal ST2 cells with NEFAs significantly decreased insulin signaling. An isoflavone mixture similar to that found in serum of HF-SPI rats significantly increased in vitro osteoblast proliferation and blocked significantly reduced NEFA-induced insulin resistance. Finally, insulin/IGF1 was able to increase both osteoblast activity and differentiation in a set of in vitro studies. These results suggest that high-fat feeding may disrupt bone development and modeling; high concentrations of NEFAs and insulin resistance occurring with high fat intake are mediators of reduced osteoblast activity and differentiation; diets high in soy protein may help prevent high dietary fat-induced bone impairments; and the molecular mechanisms underlying the SPI-protective effects involve isoflavone-induced normalization of insulin signaling in bone.-Chen, J.-R., Zhang, J., Lazarenko, O. P., Cao, J. J., Blackburn, M. L., Badger, T. M., Ronis, M. J. J. Soy protein isolates prevent loss of bone quantity associated with obesity in rats through regulation of insulin signaling in osteoblasts.
    The FASEB Journal 06/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that weanling rats fed AIN-93G semi-purified diets supplemented with 10% whole blueberry (BB) powder for two weeks beginning on postnatal day 21 (PND21) significantly increased bone formation at PND35. However, the minimal level of dietary BB needed to produce these effects is, as yet, unknown. The current study examined the effects of three different levels of BB diet supplementation (1, 3, and 5%) for 35 days beginning on PND25 on bone quality, and osteoclastic bone resorption in female rats. Peripheral quantitative CT scan (pQCT) of tibia, demonstrated that bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) were dose-dependently increased in BB-fed rats compared to controls (P<0.05). Significantly increased bone mass after feeding 5% BB extracts was also observed in a TEN (total enteral nutrition) rat model in which daily caloric and food intake was precisely controlled. Expression of RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand) a protein essential for osteoclast formation was dose-dependently decreased in the femur of BB animals. In addition, expression of PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ) which regulates bone marrow adipogenesis was suppressed in BB diet rats compared to non-BB diet controls. Finally, a set of in vitro cell cultures revealed that the inhibitory effect of BB diet rat serum on RANKL expression was more profound in mesenchymal stromal cells compared to its effect on mature osteoblasts, pre-adipocytes and osteocytes. These results suggest that inhibition of bone resorption may contribute to increased bone mass during early development after BB consumption.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70438. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soy foods have been suggested to have both positive health benefits and potentially adverse effects as a result of their content of phytoestrogens. However, studies on the estrogenicity of soy foods are lacking. Here we directly compared the effects of soy protein isolate (SPI), the protein in soy infant formula, with those of 17β-estradiol (E2), on global gene expression profiles and morphology in the female rat mammary gland. Rats were fed AIN-93G diets containing casein or SPI beginning on postnatal d 30. Rats were ovariectomized on postnatal d 50 and treated with 5 μg/kg/d E2 or vehicle for 14 d. Microarray analysis revealed that E2 treatment altered expression of 780 genes more than or equal to 2-fold (P < 0.05), whereas SPI feeding altered expression of only 53 genes more than or equal to 2-fold. Moreover, the groups had only 10 genes in common to increase more than or equal to 2-fold. The combination of SPI feeding and E2 altered expression of 422 genes and reversed E2 effects on many mRNAs, including those involved in the c-myc signaling pathway, cyclin D1, and Ki67. ERα binding to its response element on the Tie-2/Tek and progesterone receptor promoters was increased by E2, but not SPI, and this promoter binding was suppressed by the combination of E2 + SPI for the Tie-2/Tek promoter but increased for the progesterone receptor promoter (P < 0.05). SPI reduced the ratio of epithelial to fat pad area and E2 + SPI reduced both epithelial and fat pad area (P < 0.05). These data suggest that SPI is only minimally estrogenic in the rat mammary gland even in the absence of endogenous estrogens.
    Endocrinology 10/2012; · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ovariectomy (OVX)-induced bone loss has been linked to increased bone turnover and higher bone matrix collagen degradation as the result of osteoclast activation. However, the role of degraded collagen matrix in the fate of resident bone-forming cells is unclear. In this report, we show that OVX-induced bone loss is associated with profound decreases in collagen 1 and Sirt1. This was accompanied by increases in expression and activity of the senescence marker collagenase and expression of p16/p21 in bone. Feeding a diet supplemented with blueberries (BB) to pre-pubertal rats throughout development or only prior to puberty [postnatal day 21 (PND21) to PND34] prevents OVX-induced effects on expression of these molecules at PND68. In order to provide more evidence and gain a better understanding on the association between bone collagen matrix and resident bone cell fate, in vitro studies on the cellular senescence pathway using primary calvarial cells and three cell lines (ST2 cells, OB6, and MLO-Y4) were conducted. We found that senescence was inhibited by collagen in a dose-response manner. Treatment of cells with serum from OVX rats accelerated osteoblastic cell senescence pathways, but serum from BB-fed OVX rats had no effect. In the presence of low collagen or treatment with OVX rat serum, ST2 cells exhibited higher potential to differentiate into adipocytes. Finally, we demonstrated that bone cell senescence is associated with decreased Sirt1 expression and activated p53, p16, and p21. These results suggest that (1) a significant prevention of OVX-induced bone cell senescence from adult rats can occur after only 14 days consumption of a BB-containing diet immediately prior to puberty, and (2) the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect involves, at least in part, prevention of collagen degradation.
    Age 05/2012; · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rat placentation site is distinctly organized into interacting zones, the so-called labyrinth, junctional, and metrial gland compartments. These zones house unique cell populations equipped to undertake myriad prescribed functions including transport, hormonal responses, and immune interactions. Although much is known about the genesis of these cell types and specific markers that characterize each zone, a detailed global overview of gene expression in the three zones is absent. In this report, we used massively parallel sequencing (RNA-seq) to assess mRNA expression profiles and generated transcriptomic maps for each zone of the late-gestation rat placentation site (18.5 d postcoitum). Analysis of expression profiles revealed that each compartment expressed a unique signature, characterized by biological processes specific to the zone. Transport and vasculature-related processes predominated in the labyrinth, hormone secretion in the junctional, and immune interactions in the metrial gland. Furthermore, our analysis identified approximately 4000 differentially expressed genes within the zones. Using k-means clustering, we identified transcription factors with highest expression in either labyrinth, junctional, or metrial gland. Direct interaction (pathway) analysis revealed unique transcription factor networks operating in each compartment. The site-specific expression of 27 transcription factors in the three zones was ascertained via quantitative PCR and protein expression of six transcription factors was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Finally, we elucidated the expression of key developmentally important families (Sox, GATA, Fox, Wnt, Tead, and IGF/IGFBP) in the placentation site to reveal novel expression of these several factors. The present dataset provides a novel resource to understand zonal gene expression and function in the placenta.
    Endocrinology 02/2012; 153(4):1999-2011. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous reports suggest that beneficial effects of soy on bone quality are due to the estrogenic actions of isoflavone phytochemicals associated with the protein. However, mechanistic studies comparing the effects of soy diet and estrogens on bone, particularly in rapidly growing animals are lacking. We studied the effects of short term feeding of soy protein isolate (SPI) on bone in comparison to the effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) in pre-pubertal rats. Female rats were weaned to one of 4 treatments: 1) a control casein-based diet (CAS); 2) CAS with subcutaneous E2 (10 µg/kg/d) (CAS+E2); 3) a SPI-containing diet (SPI); or 4) SPI with subcutaneous E2 (SPI) or SPI with 10 µg/kg/d E2 (SPI+E2) for 14 days beginning on postnatal day 20. SPI increased while E2 decreased bone turnover compared to CAS. In contrast, both treatments decreased serum sclerostin levels. Microarray analysis of RNA isolated from bone revealed 652 genes regulated by SPI, 491 genes regulated by E2, and 266 genes regulated by both SPI diet and E2 compared to CAS. The expression of caveolin-1, a protein localized in the cell membrane, was down-regulated (p<0.05) in rats fed SPI, but not by E2 compared to rats fed casein. Down-regulation of caveolin-1 by SPI was associated with increased BMP2, Smad and Runx2 expression in bone and osteoblasts (p<0.05). These results suggest SPI and E2 have different effects on bone turnover prior to puberty. Approximately half of the genes are regulated in the same direction by E2 or SPI, but in combination, SPI blocks the estrogen effects and returns the profile towards control levels. In addition, there are E2 specific and SPI-specific gene changes related to regulation of bone formation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35736. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies show that maternal obesity during intrauterine and early postnatal life increases the risk of low bone mass and fracture later in life. Here, we show that bone development is inhibited in gestational embryonic day 18.5 (E18.5) embryos from rat dams made obese by feeding a high-fat diet (HFD). Moreover, fetal rat osteogenic calvarial cells (FOCCs) from these obese dams have significantly less potential to develop into mature osteoblasts compared to cells from AIN-93G diet-fed controls. Profiling of transcriptional genes for osteogenesis revealed a profound decrease in the homeodomain-containing factor A10 (HoxA10) in FOCCs from fetuses of HFD-induced obese dams. Significant methylation of the HoxA10 promoter was found in those FOCCs, as well as in mouse ST2 cells treated with a mixture of free fatty acids similar to that found in serum from HFD-induced obese rats. This was accompanied by lower expression of osteogenic markers, but higher levels of PPARγ. Control FOCCs depleted of the HoxA10 gene (shRNA) ex vivo behave similarly to cells from fetuses of obese dams; conversely, overexpression of HoxA10 gene in FOCCs from HFD rats exhibit the same phenotype as controls. Treatment of FOCCs from control rats or of ST2 cells with an artificial mixture of free fatty acids significantly down-regulated HoxA10 protein expression, and cells exhibited adipocyte-like properties. These results suggest that maternal obesity impairs fetal skeletal development through down-regulation of the HoxA10 gene, which may lead to an increase in the prevalence of low bone mass in the offspring later in life.
    The FASEB Journal 11/2011; 26(3):1131-41. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the U.S. formula feeding remains more popular than breast-feeding. In the current study, neonatal piglets were breast fed and compared with those fed commercially available milk-based formula (milk) or soy-based formula (soy) from postnatal day 2 (PND2) until death at PND21 (the usual age of weaning). Liver weights were greater in formula-fed piglets (P<0.05) than in breast-fed piglets (P<0.05). Affymetrix array analysis revealed significant differences in hepatic gene expression signatures between piglets fed breast milk or formula, as well as between piglets fed milk or soy. In males, expression of 346 hepatic genes differed between formula-fed and breast-fed piglets, and soy-fed differed from milk-fed piglets in 277 genes. Furthermore, gene expression profiles of males differed from females, even when the same diet was consumed. Serum cholesterol was lower in piglets fed formula relative to breast-fed piglets (P<0.05), and this was associated with elevations in mRNA encoding cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1). Consistent with the human literature, breast-fed piglets had lower hepatic iron accumulation than formula-fed piglets. Hepcidin, a major regulator of hepatic iron trafficking, was elevated in piglets fed formula relative to breast-fed piglets (P<0.05). Female piglets fed soy formula had increased expression of CYP3A enzymes (P<0.05), and soy formula feeding decreased expression of several hepatic genes considered estrogen inducible. These data suggest that: 1) gene expression profiles in neonates differ significantly depending on the diet consumed, 2) hepatic iron storage and cholesterol metabolism clearly differ between breast and formula feeding in piglets, 3) there is no evidence that soy is estrogenic in neonatal pig liver.
    Physiological Genomics 09/2011; 43(23):1281-93. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal obesity at conception increases the risk of offspring obesity, thus propagating an intergenerational vicious cycle. Male offspring born to obese dams are hyperresponsive to high fat-diets, gaining greater body weight, fat mass, and additional metabolic sequelae compared to lean controls. In this report, we identify the impact of maternal obesity before conception, on the embryo, and intrauterine milieu during the periimplantation period. We conducted global transcriptomic profiling in the uterus and periimplantation blastocyst, gene/protein expression analyses of inflammatory pathways in conjunction with endocrine and metabolic characterization in the dams at implantation. Uterine gene expression profiles of lean and obese dams revealed distinct signatures for genes regulating inflammation and lipid metabolism. Both pathway and gene-set enrichment analysis revealed uterine nuclear factor-κB and c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling to be up-regulated in the uterus of obese dams, which was confirmed via immunoblotting. Obese uteri also evidenced an inflammatory secretome with higher chemokine mRNA abundance (CCL2, CCL5, CCL7, and CxCL10) and related regulators (TLR2, CD14, and Ccr1). Increased inflammation in the uterus was associated with ectopic lipid accumulation and expression of lipid metabolic genes. Gene expression in sex-identified male periimplantation blastocyst at day postcoitum 4.5 was clearly influenced by maternal obesity (359 transcripts, ±1.4-fold), including changes in developmental and epigenetic regulators. Akin to the uterus, nuclear factor-κB-regulated proinflammatory genes (CCL4 and CCL5) increased and expression of antioxidant (GPx3) and mitochondrial (TFAM and NRF1) genes decreased in the obese embryos. Our results suggest that ectopic lipid and inflammation may link maternal obesity to increased predisposition of offspring to obesity later in life.
    Endocrinology 08/2011; 152(11):4158-70. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous in vitro data suggest that ethanol (EtOH) activates NADPH oxidase (Nox) in osteoblasts leading to accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This might be a mechanism underlying inhibition of bone formation and increased bone resorption observed in vivo after EtOH exposure. In a rat model in which cycling females were infused intragastrically with EtOH-containing liquid diets, EtOH significantly decreased bone formation and stimulated osteoblast-dependent osteoclast differentiation. These effects were reversed by exogenous 17-β-estradiol coadministration. Moreover, coadministration of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, or diphenylene iodonium (DPI), a specific Nox inhibitor, also abolished chronic EtOH-associated bone loss. EtOH treatment up-regulated mRNA levels of Nox1, 2, 4, and the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), an essential factor for differentiation of osteoclasts in bone. Protein levels of Nox4, a major Nox isoform expressed in nonphagocytic cells, was also up-regulated by EtOH in bone. 17-β-Estradiol, NAC, and DPI were able to normalize EtOH-induced up-regulation of Nox and RANKL. In vitro experiments demonstrated that EtOH directly up-regulated Nox expression in osteoblasts. Pretreatment of osteoblasts with DPI eliminated EtOH-induced RANKL promoter activity. Furthermore, EtOH induced RANKL gene expression, and RANKL promoter activation in osteoblasts was ROS-dependent. These data suggest that inhibition of Nox expression and activity may be critical for prevention of chronic EtOH-induced osteoblast-dependent bone loss.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 03/2011; 336(3):734-42. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In utero exposure to maternal obesity increases the offspring's risk of obesity in later life. We have also previously reported that offspring of obese rat dams develop hepatic steatosis, mild hyperinsulinemia, and a lipogenic gene signature in the liver at postnatal day (PND)21. In the current study, we examined systemic and hepatic adaptations in male Sprague-Dawley offspring from lean and obese dams at PND21. Indirect calorimetry revealed decreases in energy expenditure (p<0.001) and increases in RER values (p<0.001), which were further exacerbated by high fat diet (45% kcals from fat) consumption indicating an impaired ability to utilize fatty acids in offspring of obese dams as analyzed by PRCF. Mitochondrial function is known to be associated with fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in the liver. Several markers of hepatic mitochondrial function were reduced in offspring of obese dams. These included SIRT3 mRNA (p = 0.012) and mitochondrial protein content (p = 0.002), electron transport chain complexes (II, III, and ATPase), and fasting PGC-1α mRNA expression (p<0.001). Moreover, hepatic LCAD, a SIRT3 target, was not only reduced 2-fold (p<0.001) but was also hyperacetylated in offspring of obese dams (p<0.005) suggesting decreased hepatic FAO. In conclusion, exposure to maternal obesity contributes to early perturbations in whole body and liver energy metabolism. Mitochondrial dysfunction may be an underlying event that reduces hepatic fatty acid oxidation and precedes the development of detrimental obesity associated co-morbidities such as insulin resistance and NAFLD.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e24068. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Appropriate nutrition during early development is essential for maximal bone mass accretion; however, linkage between early nutrition, childhood bone mass, peak bone mass in adulthood, and prevention of bone loss later in life has not been studied. In this report, we show that feeding a high quality diet supplemented with blueberries (BB) to pre-pubertal rats throughout development or only between postnatal day 20 (PND20) and PND34 prevented ovariectomy (OVX)-induced bone loss in adult life. This protective effect of BB is due to suppression of osteoblastic cell senescence associated with acute loss of myosin expression after OVX. Early exposure of pre-osteoblasts to serum from BB-fed rats was found to consistently increase myosin expression. This led to maintenance osteoblastic cell development and differentiation and delay of cellular entrance into senescence through regulation of the Runx2 gene. High bone turnover after OVX results in insufficient collagenous matrix support for new osteoblasts and their precursors to express myosin and other cytoskeletal elements required for osteoblast activity and differentiation. These results indicate: 1) a significant prevention of OVX-induced bone loss from adult rats can occur with only 14 days consumption of a BB-containing diet immediately prior to puberty; and 2) the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects involves increased myosin production which stimulates osteoblast differentiation and reduces mesenchymal stromal cell senescence.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24486. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies and Expt. 1 of the current study demonstrate that diets made with soy protein isolate (SPI) enhance the glucocorticoid-inducibility of hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP)3A-dependent monooxygenase activities (P < 0.05) compared with diets made with casein (CAS). To determine the underlying molecular mechanism, in a second experiment, we analyzed the time course of dexamethasone (DEX)-induction of hepatic CYP3A mRNA expression on postnatal d (PND) 25 and PND60 in male and female rats fed SPI- or CAS-based diets. After 50 mg(/)kg DEX, CYP3A1 mRNA expression increased >200-fold in SPI-fed males and females at PND25 compared with a 100-fold increase in CAS-fed rats (P < 0.05). The DEX-induced increase in CYP3A1 mRNA in SPI-fed rats on PND60 was also greater than that in CAS-fed rats. The induction by DEX of CYP3A2 mRNA was 1- to 3-fold greater in rats fed SPI compared with those fed CAS on PND25 (P < 0.05). Quantitation of newly synthesized CYP3A1 RNA transcripts by nuclear run-on analysis demonstrated a greater rate of basal transcription in SPI-fed compared with CAS-fed rats on PND60 accompanied by greater binding of the pregnane X receptor (PXR) to a response element on the CYP3A1 promoter in SPI-fed compared with CAS-fed rats (P < 0.05). These data suggest that increased hepatic CYP3A expression and inducibility following SPI feeding involves recruitment of PXR to its response element and suggests that soy consumption has potential effects on metabolism and transport of a wide variety of drugs and on bile acid homeostasis via proteins regulated by this transcription factor.
    Journal of Nutrition 11/2010; 141(1):10-6. · 4.20 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

370 Citations
146.59 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Arkansas Children's Hospital
      Kansas, United States
  • 2007–2014
    • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
      Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
  • 2007–2013
    • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
      • Children's Nutrition Center
      Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
  • 2003–2008
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
      Seattle, Washington, United States