Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Apr 15;304(8):E844-52. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00581.2012. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

β-Adrenergic stimulation does not activate p38 MAP kinase or induce PGC-1α in skeletal muscle.

Author information

Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


There are reports that the β-adrenergic agonist clenbuterol induces a large increase in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) in skeletal muscle. This has led to the hypothesis that the increases in PGC-1α and mitochondrial biogenesis induced in muscle by endurance exercise are mediated by catecholamines. In the present study, we evaluated this possibility and found that injecting rats with clenbuterol or norepinephrine induced large increases in PGC-1α and mitochondrial proteins in brown adipose tissue but had no effect on PGC-1α expression or mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle. In brown adipocytes, the increase in PGC-1α expression induced by β-adrenergic stimulation is mediated by activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), which phosphorylates and activates the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) family member activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2), which binds to a cyclic AMP response element (CRE) in the PGC-1α promoter and mediates the increase in PGC-1α transcription. Phospho-CREB does not have this effect. Our results show that the reason for the lack of effect of β-adrenergic stimulation on PGC-1α expression in muscle is that catecholamines do not activate p38 or increase ATF2 phosphorylation in muscle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center