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Am J Physiol. 1988 Jun;254(6 Pt 1):E726-32.

Slow to fast alterations in skeletal muscle fibers caused by clenbuterol, a beta 2-receptor agonist.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn 11203.


Chronic treatment of rats with clenbuterol, a beta 2-receptor agonist (8-12 wk), caused hypertrophy of histochemically identified fast- but not slow-twitch fibers within the soleus, while the mean areas of both fiber types were increased in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL). In contrast, treatment with the beta 2-receptor antagonist, butoxamine, reduced fast-twitch fiber size in both muscles. In the solei and to a lesser extent in the EDLs, the ratio of the number of fast- to slow-twitch fibers was increased by clenbuterol, while the opposite was observed with butoxamine. The muscle fiber hypertrophy observed in the EDL was accompanied by parallel increases in maximal tetanic tension and muscle cross-sectional area, while in the solei, progressive increases in rates of force development and relaxation toward values typical of fast-twitch muscles were also observed. Our results suggest a role of beta 2-receptors in regulating muscle fiber type composition as well as growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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