Trimethylamine oxide supplementation differentially regulates fat deposition in liver, longissimus dorsi muscle and adipose tissue of growing-finishing pigs

Anim Nutr. 2024 Jan 3:17:25-35. doi: 10.1016/j.aninu.2023.12.006. eCollection 2024 Jun.


Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) is a microbiota-derived metabolite, and numerous studies have shown that it could regulate fat metabolism in humans and mice. However, few studies have focused on the effects of TMAO on fat deposition in growing-finishing pigs. This study aimed to investigate the effect of TMAO on fat deposition and intestinal microbiota in growing-finishing pigs. Sixteen growing pigs were randomly divided into 2 groups and fed with a basal diet with 0 or 1 g/kg TMAO for 149 d. The intestinal microbial profiles, fat deposition indexes, and fatty acid profiles were measured. These results showed that TMAO supplementation had a tendency to decrease lean body mass (P < 0.1) and significantly increased backfat thickness (P < 0.05), but it did not affect growth performance. TMAO significantly increased total protein (TP) concentration, and reduced alkaline phosphatase (ALP) concentration in serum (P < 0.05). TMAO increased the α diversity of the ileal microbiota community (P < 0.05), and it did not affect the colonic microbial community. TMAO supplementation significantly increased acetate content in the ileum, and Proteobacteria and Escherichia-Shigella were significantly enriched in the TMAO group (P < 0.05). In addition, TMAO decreased fat content, as well as the ratio of linoleic acid, n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and PUFA in the liver (P < 0.05). On the contrary, TMAO increased intramuscular fat content of the longissimus dorsi muscle, whereas the C18:2n6c ratio was increased, and the n-6 PUFA:PUFA ratio was decreased (P < 0.05). In vitro, 1 mM TMAO treatment significantly upregulated the expression of FASN and SREBP1 in C2C12 cells (P < 0.05). Nevertheless, TMAO also increased adipocyte area and decreased the CPT-1B expression in subcutaneous fat (P < 0.05). Taken together, TMAO supplementation regulated ileal microbial composition and acetate production, and regulated fat distribution and fatty acid composition in growing-finishing pigs. These results provide new insights for understanding the role of TMAO in humans and animals.

Keywords: Fat deposition; Fatty acid composition; Growing-finishing pig; Intestinal microbiota; Trimethylamine oxide.