Clenbuterol Decreases Catabolism and Increases Hypermetabolism in Burned Rats

J Trauma. 1991 Mar;31(3):365-70. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199103000-00009.


Following a 30% body surface area full-thickness open-flame burn, rats exhibited hypermetabolism, body weight loss, and muscle catabolism. Twenty-one days of treatment of one group of burned rats with the selective beta 2-adrenergic agonist, clenbuterol, increased resting energy expenditure and normalized body weight gain, muscle mass, and muscle protein content. Conversely, similar treatment of another group of burned rats with the long-acting beta-adrenergic antagonist, nadolol, reduced muscle mass, while having no effect on resting energy expenditure, body weight gain, or muscle protein content. These results demonstrate that hypermetabolism does not invariably result in loss of lean body mass and suggest that clenbuterol may be useful in preserving muscle mass and protein in catabolic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Burns / blood
  • Burns / drug therapy
  • Burns / metabolism*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Clenbuterol / pharmacology*
  • Clenbuterol / therapeutic use
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Nadolol / pharmacology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Amino Acids
  • Nadolol
  • Clenbuterol