Evaluation of vitamin A status on myogenic gene expression and muscle fiber characteristics

Kimberly B. Wellmann, Jongkyoo Kim, Phil M. Urso, Zachary K. Smith, Bradley J. Johnson

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A randomized complete block design experiment with 30 yearling crossbred steers (average BW = 436.3 ± 39.8 kg) fed a steam-flaked corn-based diet was used to evaluate the effects dietary vitamin A (Rovimix A 1000; DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., Sisseln, SUI) supplementation on myogenic gene expression and skeletal muscle fiber characteristics during the finishing phase. Steers were blocked by BW (n = 5 blocks; 6 steers/block), randomly assigned to pens (n = 2 steers/pen), and one of the following treatments: No added vitamin A (0 IU; 0.0 IU/kg of dietary dry matter intake of additional vitamin A), vitamin A supplemented at the estimated requirement (2,200 IU; 2,200 IU/kg of dietary dry matter (DM) of additional vitamin A), and vitamin A supplemented at 5× the estimated requirement (11,000 IU; 11,000 IU/kg of dietary DM of additional vitamin A). After all treatments underwent a 91-d vitamin A depletion period, additional vitamin A was topdressed at feeding via a ground corn carrier. Blood, longissimus muscle, and liver biopsy samples were obtained on days 0, 28, 56, 84, and 112. Biopsy samples were used for immunohistochemical and mRNA analysis. Sera and liver samples were used to monitor circulating vitamin A and true vitamin A status of the cattle. Expression for myosin heavy chain (MHC)-I diminished and rebounded (P = 0.04) over time. The intermediate fiber type, MHC-IIA, had a similar pattern of expression (P = 0.01) to that of MHC-I. On day 84, C/EBPβ expression was also the greatest (P = 0.03). The pattern of PPARγ (P < 0.01) and PPARδ (P < 0.01) expression seemed to mimic that of MHC-I expression, increasing from days 84 to 112. Distribution of MHCIIA demonstrated a change over time (P = 0.02). Muscle fiber cross-sectional area increased by day (P < 0.01) for each MHC with the notable increase between days 0 and 56. Total nuclei density decreased (P = 0.02) over time. Cells positive for only Myf5 increased (P < 0.01) in density early in the feeding period, then declined, indicating that satellite cells were fusing into fibers. The dual-positive (PAX7+Myf5) nuclei also peaked (P < 0.01) around day 56 then declined. These data indicated that gene expression associated with oxidative proteins may be independent of vitamin A status in yearling cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberskab075
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • beef
  • fiber type
  • gene expression
  • muscle biopsy
  • steer
  • vitamin A


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