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

  • Johnson, Bradley J. (Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University) ;
  • Smith, Stephen B. (Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University) ;
  • Chung, Ki Yong (Hanwoo Experiment Station, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA)
  • Received : 2012.09.20
  • Accepted : 2014.03.12
  • Published : 2014.05.01


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 ${\beta}$-adrenergic agonists (${\beta}$-AA), which are receptor-mediated enhancers of protein synthesis and inhibitors of protein degradation. Feeding ${\beta}$-AA to beef cattle increases longissimus muscle cross-sectional area 6% to 40% compared to non-treated cattle. The ${\beta}$-AA have been reported to improve live animal performance, including average daily gain, feed efficiency, hot carcass weight, and dressing percentage. Treatment with ${\beta}$-AA increased mRNA concentration of the ${\beta}_2$ or ${\beta}_1$-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 ${\beta}$-AA, and will interpret how the use of ${\beta}$-AA affects performance, body composition, and growth in beef cattle.


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