Dietary chicory root and chicory inulin trigger changes in energetic metabolism, stress prevention and cytoskeletal proteins in the liver of growing pigs - a proteomic study

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2017 Oct;101(5):e225-e236. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12595. Epub 2016 Nov 17.


Currently, a wide array of plant preparations exerting health-promoting properties are commonly used as feed additives. Among them, Cichorium intybus L. have gained considerable attention as a source of compounds showing prebiotic character. Large body of evidence suggests that products of prebiotic fermentation (short-chain fatty acids) may influence the expression of genes encoding liver enzymes involved in the regulation of energetic metabolism. Given the above, the present study was aimed at estimating the influence of a diet supplemented with chicory root or water extract of chicory inulin on liver proteome in growing pigs. The study was performed on 24 castrated male piglets (PIC × Penarlan P76). Animals were assigned to three equal groups (n = 8) and fed cereal-based isoenergetic diets: control and supplemented with 2% of inulin extract from chicory root or 4% of dried chicory root. Liver proteins were separated using two-dimensional electrophoresis, followed by the identification of statistically valid protein spots with the aid of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Both experimental factors significantly modulated the expression of liver proteins associated with energetic metabolism, particularly those involved in cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism. Additionally, both dietary additives induced increased expression of proteins involved in hepatocyte protection against oxidative stress. In the present study, we have shown for the first time that diet supplementation with dried chicory root or inulin caused significant changes in the expression of liver cytoskeletal proteins. Close attention should be paid to the downregulation of cytokeratin 18, hepatic acute phase protein that can enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of inulin-type fructans.

Keywords: fructans; hepatic; metabolism; prebiotic; proteome; two-dimensional electrophoresis.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Chicory*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Inulin / chemistry
  • Inulin / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Roots
  • Prebiotics
  • Proteomics
  • Swine / physiology*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Prebiotics
  • Inulin