Historical Overview of the Effect of β-Adrenergic Agonists on Beef Cattle Production
Johnson, Bradley J.
Smith, Stephen B.
Chung, Ki Yong
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Postnatal muscle hypertrophy of beef cattle is the result of enhanced myofibrillar protein synthesis and reduced protein turnover. Skeletal muscle hypertrophy has been studied in cattle fed β-adrenergic agonists (β-AA), which are receptor-mediated enhancers of protein synthesis and inhibitors of protein degradation. Feeding β-AA to beef cattle increases longissimus muscle cross-sectional area 6% to 40% compared to non-treated cattle. The β-AA have been reported to improve live animal performance, including average daily gain, feed efficiency, hot carcass weight, and dressing percentage. Treatment with β-AA increased mRNA concentration of the β2 or β1-adrenergic receptor and myosin heavy chain IIX in bovine skeletal muscle tissue. This review will examine the effects of skeletal muscle and adipose development with β-AA, and will interpret how the use of β-AA affects performance, body composition, and growth in beef cattle.