The enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) plays an important role in androstenone metabolism in pig liver, and its defective expression is related to the development of boar taint. Early age castration is a common practice in many countries to avoid boar taint, yet whether and how castration affects porcine hepatic 3β-HSD expression are still poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to compare the expression of 3β-HSD between intact (boars) and castrated (barrows) male pigs, and to explore the potential factors regulating 3β-HSD transcription. Compared to barrows, boars showed worse carcass quality. Boars had significantly higher levels of serum androstenone (P < 0.01), testosterone (P < 0.01) and hepatic cortisol (P < 0.05), which were contrary to significantly lower expression of 3β-HSD messenger RNA (P < 0.01) and protein (P < 0.01) in the liver. Significant differences were detected for the hepatic expression of androgen receptor (AR) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay demonstrated reduced histone H3 acetylation (P < 0.05) but increased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding to 3β-HSD gene promoter in boars (P < 0.05). These results indicate that GR binding to 3β-HSD promoter is involved in the differential hepatic 3β-HSD expression between boars and barrows.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- androgen receptor
- glucocorticoid receptor