臺大學術卓越系列報導 生物資源暨農學院 從天噸牛到旦馬牛─智慧放牛的新牛仔

今年一月臺大乳牛場創紀錄地得到奧斯卡乳牛獎,我們的乳牛除了生產高品質的牛乳,還能有最高產乳的表現。得獎絕非僥倖,我們結合動科系徐濟泰教授的乳牛學專長、前系主任陳明汝對動物福利的堅持、資策會的資訊匯流和智慧化學習分析系統、生機系林達德教授的影像與自動化控制,認真地建構一個具有10種感測器的智慧友善乳牛場,才有這種好的表現。我的角色則是整合這個跨領域合作的始作俑者,其實現在的科技發展也要靠很多的跨領域合作。

除了畜牧生產的研究,過去幾年我的研究也聚焦在建立有效的動物研究模式,來研究促進動物生產價值和改善人類健康的方法。國人發生脂肪肝的比率超過25%;生蛋雞因出血性脂肪肝而突然死掉的比率也超過5%,造成很大的農業和健康的損失,我的團隊建立了一個家禽脂肪肝和肝臟纖維化的動物模式,並且利用蛋白體學的選篩發現4個血液中的生物標記 (Tsai et al., 2017a),我們也證明飼糧中添加甜菜鹼和多不飽和脂肪酸可以降低肝臟脂肪的堆積,因此可以防治脂肪肝。因為家禽肝臟脂肪合成活性跟人類極相似,所以會是這種疾病的優良動物模式。除此之外,當我們添加甜菜鹼的時候發現能降低雞隻的肝臟纖維化症 (Tsai et al., 2016),而使用另一個肝臟疾病的動物模式,我們也發現肝臟細胞的再生其實是可以被調控的 (Tsai et al., 2017b),只要給予適當的刺激,肝臟修復速度是可以改善的。

為了促進雞胚的孵化成功率,我們要研發胚胎對營養利用的能力和機制,我們使用鵪鶉胚和斑馬魚的模式 (天空中飛翔的鳥跟水裡游的魚原來這麼相近),我們發現鵪鶉胚的膽固醇酯合成基因會受到葡萄糖濃度和內泌素的調控 (Wang et al., 2017),未來可以用來調控胚胎發育的速度,我們也建立了一個EEC細胞培養方法,提供研究營養分輸送利用的有效研究模式 (Lin et al., 2016)。藉由和劉逸軒老師的合作,我們使用基因剔除的技術證明這個膽固醇酯合成基因其實在魚的胚胎發育扮演重要的角色 (Chang et al., 2016),缺乏它發育是不健全的,魚如鳥一般,需要膽固醇酯合成基因。此外,我們也建立一個非常好的脂肪幹細胞的分離和培養方法 (Chen et al., 2016),與化工系陳賢燁老師合作,我們建立了營造三維細胞生長的材料組合 (Liu et al., 2017a),使得在體外培養時脂肪細胞可以更有效地被刺激分化成分泌胰島素的細胞,一舉成為更好細胞治療一型糖尿病的生醫材料 (Liu et al., 2017b)。今年臺灣和牛(來自日本和牛的一支)在臺灣被重新發現,原來擎天岡那群黑牛其實是70多年前從石垣島來的旦馬牛,本系也參與取得所有血液樣品與部分基因分析的工作,未來如果育種成功,大家除了喝牛奶時想到我們,也許吃可口的臺灣和牛時,都應該想一下本校的動科系。

後記:忍不住要寫點豬的故事。

我的團隊其實也建立豬的肥胖和脂肪肝模式 (Li et al., 2016ab),尤其是和陳靜宜教授合作使用本校特有的李宋迷你豬(一般肉豬的一半體重)和臺東蘭嶼豬,發現李宋迷你豬是最好的高脂高糖飲食引發的肥胖和脂肪肝的良好動物模式。我們也發現食物中的DHA (一種多不飽和脂肪酸)可以藉由轉錄因子FOXO1 和 FOXO3 來降低脂質堆積 (Chen et al.,2012)。後續的研究也發現DHA和離胺酸可以降低因飲食肥胖的脂肪肝 (Lin et al., 2014; Huang et al., 2017),所以健康飲食很重要啊!

文/動物科學系丁詩同教授

參考文獻:

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