Journal of Animal Science and Technology
Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology

All-trans retinoic acid alters the expression of adipogenic genes during the differentiation of bovine intramuscular and subcutaneous adipocytes

Ki Chung1, Jong Kim2,*, Bradley Johnson3
1Department of Beef Science, Korea National College of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jeonju 54874, Korea.
2Department of Animal Science & Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, United States.
3Department of Animal and Food Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409, United States.
*Corresponding Author: Jong Kyoo Kim, Department of Animal Science & Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, United States. E-mail:

© Copyright 2021 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Aug 18, 2021; Revised: Sep 30, 2021; Accepted: Nov 12, 2021

Published Online: Nov 23, 2021


The present study was designed to determine the influence of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) on adipogenesis-related gene regulation in bovine intramuscular and subcutaneous adipose cells during differentiation. Bovine intramuscular (IM) and subcutaneous (SC) adipocytes were isolated from three 19-mo-old, crossbred steers. Adipogenic differentiation was induced upon cultured IM and SC preadipocytes with various doses (0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1 µM) of ATRA. After 96 h of incubation, cells were harvested and used to measure the gene expression of <italic>CCAAT/Enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ)</italic>, <italic>peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ</italic>, <italic>glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4)</italic>, <italic>stearoyl CoA desaturase (SCD)</italic>, and <italic>Smad transcription factor 3</italic> (<italic>Smad3</italic>) relative to the quantity of <italic>ribosomal protein subunit 9 (RPS 9)</italic>. RAR antagonist also tested to identify the effect of ATRA on PPAR<italic>γ </italic>-RAR related gene expression in IM cells. The addition of ATRA to bovine IM decreased (<italic>P</italic> &lt; 0.05) expression of <italic>PPARγ</italic>. The expression of <italic>PPARγ</italic> was also tended to be downregulated (<italic>P</italic> &lt; 0.1) in high levels (10 μM) of ATRA treatment in SC cells. The treatment of RAR antagonist increased the expression of <italic>PPAR</italic><italic>γ </italic>in IM cells. Expression of <italic>C/EBPβ</italic> decreased (<italic>P</italic> &lt; 0.05) in SC, but no change was observed in IM (<italic>P</italic> &gt; 0.05). Increasing levels of ATRA may block adipogenic differentiation via transcriptional regulation of PPAR<italic>γ</italic>. The efficacy of ATRA treatment in adipose cells may vary depending on the location.      

Keywords: bovine intramuscular adipose tissue; marbling; retinoic acid receptor antagonist