Open Access Research article

Sex-dimorphism in Cardiac Nutrigenomics: effect of Trans fat and/or Monosodium Glutamate consumption

Kate S Collison1*, Marya Z Zaidi1, Zakia Maqbool1, Soad M Saleh1, Angela Inglis1, Nadine J Makhoul1, Razan Bakheet1, Mohammed Shoukri2 and Futwan A Al-Mohanna1

Author Affiliations

1 Cell Biology & Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Biological & Medical Research, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, PO BOX 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia

2 Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Scientific Computing, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Saudi Arabia

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:555  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-555

Published: 12 November 2011

Abstract

Background

A paucity of information on biological sex-specific differences in cardiac gene expression in response to diet has prompted this present nutrigenomics investigation.

Sexual dimorphism exists in the physiological and transcriptional response to diet, particularly in response to high-fat feeding. Consumption of Trans-fatty acids (TFA) has been linked to substantially increased risk of heart disease, in which sexual dimorphism is apparent, with males suffering a higher disease rate. Impairment of the cardiovascular system has been noted in animals exposed to Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) during the neonatal period, and sexual dimorphism in the growth axis of MSG-treated animals has previously been noted. Processed foods may contain both TFA and MSG.

Methods

We examined physiological differences and changes in gene expression in response to TFA and/or MSG consumption compared to a control diet, in male and female C57BL/6J mice.

Results

Heart and % body weight increases were greater in TFA-fed mice, who also exhibited dyslipidemia (P < 0.05). Hearts from MSG-fed females weighed less than males (P < 0.05). 2-factor ANOVA indicated that the TFA diet induced over twice as many cardiac differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in males compared to females (P < 0.001); and 4 times as many male DEGs were downregulated including Gata4, Mef2d and Srebf2. Enrichment of functional Gene Ontology (GO) categories were related to transcription, phosphorylation and anatomic structure (P < 0.01). A number of genes were upregulated in males and downregulated in females, including pro-apoptotic histone deacetylase-2 (HDAC2). Sexual dimorphism was also observed in cardiac transcription from MSG-fed animals, with both sexes upregulating approximately 100 DEGs exhibiting sex-specific differences in GO categories. A comparison of cardiac gene expression between all diet combinations together identified a subset of 111 DEGs significant only in males, 64 DEGs significant in females only, and 74 transcripts identified as differentially expressed in response to dietary manipulation in both sexes.

Conclusion

Our model identified major changes in the cardiac transcriptional profile of TFA and/or MSG-fed mice compared to controls, which was reflected by significant differences in the physiological profile within the 4 diet groups. Identification of sexual dimorphism in cardiac transcription may provide the basis for sex-specific medicine in the future.