Chronic effects of beta 2-adrenergic agonists on body composition and protein synthesis in the rat

Biosci Rep. 1984 Jan;4(1):83-91. doi: 10.1007/BF01120827.


Chronic treatment of rats with the beta 2-adrenergic agonists clenbuterol and fenoterol over 16-19 d raised energy intake, expenditure, and body weight gain but did not affect fat or energy deposition, and body protein gain was increased by 50 and 18%, respectively. Both drugs increased the protein content and mitochondrial GDP-binding capacity of brown adipose tissue. Clenbuterol did not affect plasma insulin, growth hormone, or triiodothyronine levels, although insulin levels were reduced by fenoterol. Both drugs caused hypertrophy of skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius), and muscle protein synthesis in vivo (fractional rate) was elevated by 34 and 26% in clenbuterol and fenoterol-treated rats, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Clenbuterol / pharmacology
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Fenoterol / pharmacology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Insulin
  • Fenoterol
  • Clenbuterol