Developmental changes in cholesterol 7α- and 27-hydroxylases in the piglet

D. S. Lewis, S. Oren, X. Wang, M. L. Moyer, D. C. Beitz, T. J. Knight, G. E. Mott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Hepatic cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A) and sterol 27 hydroxylase activities were measured in fetal, newborn, suckling, and weaned piglets from 76 d into gestation to 49 d of age. Hepatic CYP7A activity was not detected in fetal microsomes, but it increased to 6.8 ± 2.6 pmol/min·mg-1 protein in suckling piglets at 21 d of age and to 18.2 ± 2.5 in weaned piglets at 49 d of age. Hepatic CYP7A activity was not different between 49-d-old piglets weaned at 21 d and piglets suckled for 49 d (18.9 ± 2.6 and 18.2 ± 2.5 pmol/min·mg protein, respectively). Fasting for 14 h decreased CYP7A activity by 86% in both suckled and weaned piglets. Cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase activity remained decreased for at least 5 h after refeeding. Sterol 27-hydroxylase activity was also undetectable near birth, but was detectable by 21 d of age. Postnatally, sterol 27-hydroxylase activity was not influenced by age or suckling and weaning, as was CYP7A. Sterol 27-hydroxylase was decreased by 80% in piglets deprived of feed compared with piglets given free access. In contrast to CYP7A activity, 27-hydroxylase activity returned within 5 h after refeeding to levels observed in piglets given ad libitum access to feed. Similar to CYP7A enzyme activity, hepatic CYP7A mRNA was not detected in newborn piglets, but increased from 2.7 ± 1.7. pg mRNA/μg RNA in suckling piglets at 21 d to 13.7 ± 1.2 in 49-d-old piglets weaned at 21 d. As with enzyme activity, feed deprivation decreased CYP7A mRNA to barely detectable levels (< .5 pg/μg RNA), and which remained decreased for at least 5 h following refeeding (.6 + .3 and 2.67 ± .4 pg mRNA/μg RNA for suckled and weaned piglets, respectively). In piglets allowed free access to feed, CYP7A mRNA concentrations were associated positively (P = .001) with enzyme activity. These results suggest that developmental regulation of CYP7A activity is the result of a pretranslational mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-951
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Bile Acids
  • Cholesterol Hydroxylase
  • Messenger RNA
  • Piglets
  • Suckling
  • Weaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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