Historical Overview of the Effect of β-Adrenergic Agonists on Beef Cattle Production



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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.


Copyright © 2014 by Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


β-Adrenergic Agonists, Skeletal Muscle, Beef Cattle


Johnson B, Smith S, Chung K. Historical Overview of the Effect of β-Adrenergic Agonists on Beef Cattle Production Anim Biosci 2014;27(5):757-766. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2012.12524