The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of injection of the β2-adrenergic receptor agonist clenbuterol on the skeletal muscles of neonatal chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus). One-day-old chicks were randomly divided into four groups and given a single intraperitoneal injection of clenbuterol (0.01, 0.1, or 1mg/kg) or phosphate-buffered saline. Twenty-four hours after the injection, the sartorius muscles (which consist of both slow- and fast-twitch fibers) of chicks that received 0.01 or 0.1mg/kg clenbuterol were significantly heavier than those of controls, while there were no between-group differences in the weight of the pectoral muscles, which consist of only fast-twitch fibers. Muscle free N(t)-methylhistidine, regarded as an index of myofibrillar proteolysis, was decreased in the sartorius muscle of the clenbuterol-injected chicks, while it was not affected in the pectoral muscles. In the sartorius muscle of the clenbuterol-injected chicks, myostatin and atrogin-1/MAFbx mRNA expressions were decreased, while insulin-like growth factor-I was unaffected. These observations suggested, in 1-day-old chicks, clenbuterol might increase mass of the sartorius muscle by decreasing myostatin gene expression and protein degradation.
Keywords: Gallus gallus domesticus; Muscle growth; Myofibrillar proteolysis; β(2)-Adrenergic receptor.
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