The transcriptome of muscle and liver is responding differently to a combined trenbolone acetate and estradiol implant in cattle

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We investigated the transcriptomic signature of some anabolic steroids in cattle. Our main objective was to evaluate the effect of a combined trenbolone acetate (TBA, 200 mg) and estradiol-17β (E2, 40 mg) implant (Revalor-XS®, REV) on the transcriptome of muscle (target tissue for anabolic steroids) and liver (main biotransformation site). Transcriptomic profiling was performed on 60 samples (30 per tissue) representing 2 groups of animals: REV (sustained release implant for 71 days, n = 15), and a control group (CTR, n = 15). The analyses (REV vs. CTR) evidenced the differential expression of 431 (down-regulated) and 503 transcripts (268 up-regulated and 235 down-regulated) in muscle and liver tissues, respectively. Functional annotation showed the enrichment of several ion transport systems (cation, metal ion and potassium ion transport) in muscle, while revealing the enrichment of carbohydrate, protein and glycoprotein metabolism and biosynthesis mechanisms in the liver. Both tissues had 20 genes commonly expressed in-between. Seven randomly-selected genes showed positive correlation with their corresponding microarray data upon a qPCR cross-validation step. In muscle, but not the liver, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on the microarray data resulted in the separation of treated animals from the untreated ones (first 2 components = 97.87%.). Overall, the identification of different genes, pathways and biological processes has illustrated the distinctive transcriptomic profile of muscle and liver in response to anabolic steroids. Moreover, it is becoming more clear that anabolic steroids are working through a complex interaction of numerous pathways and processes incorporating different tissues.

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