Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effect of dietary consumption of sheep meat on thyroid hormone levels and energy expenditure of Sprague–Dawley rats

Xian-Chao Feng A , Su Zhuang B , Lin Chen A , Zheng-Guo Yan A , Xing-Lian Xu A C and Guang-Hong Zhou A

A Key Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, Ministry of Education, College of Food Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.

B College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.

C Corresponding author. Email: xlxu@njau.edu.cn

Animal Production Science 51(12) 1109-1116 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN11035
Submitted: 16 March 2011  Accepted: 13 September 2011   Published: 18 November 2011

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of a sheep meat-based diet on the thyroid hormone concentrations and energy expenditure of Sprague–Dawley rats. The diets, a sheep meat diet (SMD) or a casein control diet (CD), each based on a standard formulation (AIN-93G), contained 18.3% protein, 7.4% fat and 60.0% carbohydrate, and were isocaloric (15.9kJ/g dry matter). Serum tri-iodothryonine (T3), thyroxine (T4), free tri-iodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4) concentrations, oxygen consumption rate (OCR), bodyweight, bodyweight gain and activities of liver sodium–potassium-adenosinetriphosphatase (Na,K-ATPase) and Ca2+-dependent adenosine triphosphatase (Ca-ATPase) were measured. Compared with the CD, the SMD increased the serum FT3 concentration on Day 7 (P = 0.004) and Day 14 (P < 0.001). Serum albumin concentrations, which may influence the amount of thyroid hormones bound, were significantly lower in the SMD group on Day 7 (P < 0.001) and Day 14 (P = 0.02) than those in the CD group. Both liver Na,K-ATPase and Ca-ATPase activities were significantly higher in rats consuming the SMD on Day 7 (P < 0.001, P = 0.001) and Day 14 (P < 0.001, P < 0.001) respectively. OCRs were significantly higher in rats consuming the SMD on Day 6 (P = 0.023) and Day 13 (P = 0.014). Both bodyweight and bodyweight gains were significantly lower in the SMD group. We concluded that sheep meat consumption decreased the serum albumin concentrations, which increased the serum FT3 concentrations. This lead to FT3 promoting the OCRs and the activities of Na,K-ATPase and Ca-ATPase, resulting in reduced bodyweight and bodyweight gain, presumably through greater energy expenditure. Thus, energy expenditure appears to have been enhanced in rats fed the SMD.

Additional keywords: energy expenditure, sheep meat, Sprague–Dawley rats, thyroid hormone.


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