Accepted Preprint (first posted online 13 August 2014)

    UCP 1 is present in porcine adipose tissue and is responsive to postnatal leptin

    1. Latifa Abdennebi-Najar
    1. A Mostyn, School of Nursing, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2HA, United Kingdom
    2. L Attig, SNES, UP EGEAL, Beauvais, France
    3. T Larcher, ONIRIS, UMR703 - PAnTher, Nantes, France
    4. S Dou, UP-EGEAL ,SNES, LaSalle Beauvais, Beauvais, France
    5. P Chavatte-Palmer, INRA, UMR 1198 Biologie du Développement et Reproduction, Jouy en Josas, France
    6. M Boukthir, Faculté de Medecine, Unité de Recherche 04UR08/03, Tunis, Tunisia
    7. A Gertler, Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, The Hebrew University, Rehovot, Israel
    8. J Djiane, INRA, Unité NOPA, Centre de recherche, Jouy en Josas, France
    9. M Symonds, Child Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, United Kingdom
    10. L Abdennebi-Najar, UP 2012.10.101 EGEAL, Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais, Beauvais Cedex, France
    1. Correspondence: Latifa Abdennebi-Najar, Email: Latifa.Najar{at}


    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) may be accompanied by inadequate thermoregulation, especially in piglets that are not considered to possess any brown adipose tissue (BAT) and are thus entirely dependent on shivering thermogenesis in order to maintain body temperature after birth. Leptin can stimulate heat production by promoting nonshivering thermogenesis in BAT, but whether this response occurs in piglets is unknown. Newborn female piglets that were characterised as showing IUGR (mean birth weight of ~0.98 kg) were therefore injected with either saline or leptin once a day for the first five days of neonatal life. The dose of leptin was 0.5 mg/kg which is sufficient to increase plasma leptin ~10 fold and on the day of birth induced a rapid increase in body temperature to values comparable with normal sized "control" piglets (mean birth weight of ~1.47 kg). Perirenal adipose tissue was then sampled from all offspring at 21 days of age and presence of the BAT specific uncoupling protein (UCP)1 determined by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. UCP1 was clearly detectable in all samples analysed and its abundance was significantly reduced in the IUGR piglets administered saline compared with controls, but was raised to the same amount as controls in those IUGR females given leptin. There were no differences in gene expression between primary markers of brown and white adipose tissue between groups. In conclusion, piglets possess BAT that when stimulated exogenously by leptin can promote body temperature.

    • Received 10 March 2014
    • Received in final form 4 August 2014
    • Accepted 12 August 2014
    • Accepted Preprint first posted online on 13 August 2014

    This Article

    1. J Endocrinol JOE-14-0155
    1. Abstract
    2. All Versions of this Article:
      1. JOE-14-0155v1
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