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22.05.2015 | Original Contribution | Ausgabe 3/2016

European Journal of Nutrition 3/2016

NMR-based metabolomics highlights differences in plasma metabolites in pigs exhibiting diet-induced differences in adiposity

European Journal of Nutrition > Ausgabe 3/2016
Maëva Jégou, Florence Gondret, Julie Lalande-Martin, Illa Tea, Elisabeth Baéza, Isabelle Louveau



A better understanding of the control of body fat mass and distribution is required for both human health and animal production. The current study investigates plasma parameters in response to changes in body fat mass.


Pigs from two lines divergently selected for residual feed intake were fed diets contrasted in energy sources and nutrients. Between 74 and 132 days of age, pigs (n = 12 by diet and by line) received isoproteic and isoenergetic diets, either rich in starch (LF) or in lipids and fibres (HF). At the end of the feeding trial, plasma samples were analysed by 1H NMR spectroscopy and standard hormonal and biochemical assays.


Pigs fed the HF diet had lower (P < 0.01) perirenal and subcutaneous adipose tissue relative masses than pigs fed the LF diet. Metabolomic approach showed a clear discrimination between diets, with lower (P < 0.05) plasma levels of creatinine–lysine, creatine, tyrosine, proline, histidine, lysine, phenylalanine and formate but higher (P < 0.001) plasma VLDL-LDL levels in HF pigs than in LF pigs. Plasma concentrations of triglycerides were higher (P < 0.001), while plasma concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate, leptin, glucose, insulin and urea were lower (P ≤ 0.05) in HF pigs than in LF pigs. Plasma levels of leptin, creatine and urea were positively correlated (r = 0.3, P < 0.05) with relative adipose tissue masses.


These data indicate that metabolites associated with energy and protein metabolism were involved in the response to a high-fat, high-fibre diet. Relevant plasma indicators of metabolic flexibility related to changes in body adiposity were then proposed.

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