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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007 Aug;62(8):813-23.

Attenuation of age-related muscle wasting and weakness in rats after formoterol treatment: therapeutic implications for sarcopenia.

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Basic and Clinical Myology Laboratory, Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, 3010 Australia.


We investigated the potential of the beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonist formoterol to increase mass and force-producing capacity of extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles from young, adult, and old rats. In addition, we examined the result of formoterol withdrawal. Young (3 month), adult (16 month), and old (27 month) F344 rats were treated with either formoterol (25 microg/kg/day, i.p.) or saline vehicle for 4 weeks. Another group of rats (for each age) was similarly treated with formoterol, followed by a withdrawal period of 4 weeks. Formoterol treatment increased EDL muscle mass and the force-producing capacity of both EDL and soleus muscles, without a concomitant increase in heart mass in adult and old rats. The hypertrophy and increased force-producing capacity of EDL muscles persisted 4 weeks after withdrawal of treatment. The findings have major implications for potential clinical trials utilizing beta(2)-agonists for sarcopenia.

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