Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Mirabegron In Vitro and in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2019 Jun;369(3):419-427. doi: 10.1124/jpet.118.255778. Epub 2019 Apr 2.


Mirabegron, a β3-adrenergic receptor agonist, has been shown to stimulate the activity of brown fat and increase the resting metabolic rate in humans. However, it is unknown whether mirabegron can reduce body weight and improve metabolic health. We investigated the antiobesity effects of mirabegron using both in vitro and in vivo models. Mouse brown preadipocytes and 3T3-L1 cells were treated with different concentrations of mirabegron (0.03-3 µg/ml), and the expression of brown fat-related genes was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, male C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet for 10 weeks, and mirabegron (2 mg/kg body weight) or a vehicle control was delivered to the interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT) using ALZET osmotic pumps from week 7 to 10. The metabolic parameters and tissues were analyzed. In both mouse brown preadipocytes and 3T3-L1 cells, mirabegron stimulated uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression. In animal studies, mirabegron-treated mice had a lower body weight and adiposity. Lipid droplets in the iBAT of mirabegron-treated mice were fewer and smaller in size compared with those from vehicle-treated mice. H&E staining and immunohistochemistry indicated that mirabegron increased the abundance of beige cells in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). Compared with vehicle-treated mice, mirabegron-treated mice had a higher gene expression of UCP1 (14-fold) and cell death-inducing DNA fragmentation factor alpha-like effector A (CIDEA) (4-fold) in iWAT. Furthermore, mirabegron-treated mice had improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Taken together, mirabegron enhances UCP1 expression and promotes browning of iWAT, which are accompanied by improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and prevention from high-fat diet-induced obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Acetanilides / pharmacology*
  • Acetanilides / therapeutic use
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipocytes, Brown / drug effects
  • Adipocytes, Brown / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*
  • Thiazoles / therapeutic use
  • Uncoupling Protein 1 / genetics


  • Acetanilides
  • Thiazoles
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Glucose
  • mirabegron