Background: Hyperlipidemia animal models have been established, but complete gene expression profiles of the transition from normal lipid levels have not been obtained. Miniature pigs are useful model animals for gene expression studies on dietary-induced hyperlipidemia because they have a similar anatomy and digestive physiology to humans, and blood samples can be obtained from them repeatedly. Methodology: Two typical dietary treatments were used for dietary-induced hyperlipidemia models, by using specific pathogen-free (SPF) Clawn miniature pigs. One was a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet (HFCD) and the other was a high-fat, high-cholesterol, and high-sucrose diet (HFCSD). Microarray analyses were conducted from whole blood samples during the dietary period and from white blood cells at the end of the dietary period to evaluate the transition of expression profiles of the two dietary models. Principal Findings: Variations in whole blood gene expression intensity within the HFCD or the HFCSD group were in the same range as the controls provide with normal diet at all periods. This indicates uniformity of dietary-induced hyperlipidemia for our dietary protocols. Gene ontology- (GO) based functional analyses revealed that characteristics of the common changes between HFCD and HFCSD were involved in inflammatory responses and reproduction. The correlation coefficient between whole blood and white blood cell expression profiles at 27 weeks with the HFCSD diet was significantly lower than that of the control and HFCD diet groups. This may be due to the effects of RNA originating from the tissues and/or organs. Conclusions: No statistically significant differences in fasting plasma lipids and glucose levels between the HFCD and HFCSD groups were observed. However, blood RNA analyses revealed different characteristics corresponding to the dietary protocols. In this study, whole blood RNA analyses proved to be a useful tool to evaluate transitions in dietary-induced hyperlipidemia gene expression profiles in miniature pigs.
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