Effects of Saturated Long-chain Fatty Acid on mRNA Expression of Genes Associated with Milk Fat and Protein Biosynthesis in Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells

  • Qi, Lizhi (College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University) ;
  • Yan, Sumei (College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University) ;
  • Sheng, Ran (College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhao, Yanli (College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University) ;
  • Guo, Xiaoyu (College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2013.08.13
  • Accepted : 2013.10.14
  • Published : 2014.03.01


This study was conducted to determine the effects of saturated long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) on cell proliferation and triacylglycerol (TAG) content, as well as mRNA expression of ${\alpha}s1$-casein (CSN1S1) and genes associated with lipid and protein synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs). Primary cells were isolated from the mammary glands of Holstein dairy cows, and were passaged twice. Then cells were cultured with different levels of palmitate or stearate (0, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 ${\mu}M$) for 48 h and fetal bovine serum in the culture solution was replaced with fatty acid-free BSA (1 g/L). The results showed that cell proliferation tended to be increased quadratically with increasing addition of stearate. Treatments with palmitate or stearate induced an increase in TAG contents at 0 to 600 ${\mu}M$ in a concentration-dependent manner, and the addition of 600 ${\mu}M$ was less effective in improving TAG accumulation. The expression of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase alpha, fatty acid synthase and fatty acid-binding protein 3 was inhibited when palmitate or stearate were added in culture medium, whereas cluster of differentiation 36 and CSN1S1 mRNA abundance was increased in a concentration-dependent manner. The mRNA expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, mammalian target of rapamycin and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 with palmitate or stearate had no significant differences relative to the control. These results implied that certain concentrations of saturated LCFA could stimulate cell proliferation and the accumulation of TAG, whereas a reduction may occur with the addition of an overdose of saturated LCFA. Saturated LCFA could up-regulate CSN1S1 mRNA abundance, but further studies are necessary to elucidate the mechanism for regulating milk fat and protein synthesis.


Saturated Long-chain Fatty Acid;Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells;mRNA Expression;Milk Fat;Milk Protein


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