Effect of beta1- and beta2-adrenergic stimulation on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and UCP3 expression in humans

J. Hoeks*, M.A. van Baak, M.K.C. Hesselink, G.B.J. Hul, H. Vidal, W.H.M. Saris, P. Schrauwen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

61 Citations (Web of Science)
233 Downloads (Pure)


Effect of beta1- and beta2-adrenergic stimulation on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and UCP3 expression in humans.

Hoeks J, van Baak MA, Hesselink MK, Hul GB, Vidal H, Saris WH, Schrauwen P.

NUTRIM, Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. j.hoeks@hb.unimaas.nl

In humans, beta-adrenergic stimulation increases energy and fat metabolism. In the case of beta1-adrenergic stimulation, it is fueled by an increased lipolysis. We examined the effect of beta2-adrenergic stimulation, with and without a blocker of lipolysis, on thermogenesis and substrate oxidation. Furthermore, the effect of beta1-and beta2-adrenergic stimulation on uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) mRNA expression was studied. Nine lean males received a 3-h infusion of dobutamine (DOB, beta1) or salbutamol (SAL, beta2). Also, we combined SAL with acipimox to block lipolysis (SAL+ACI). Energy and substrate metabolism were measured continuously, blood was sampled every 30 min, and muscle biopsies were taken before and after infusion. Energy expenditure significantly increased approximately 13% in all conditions. Fat oxidation increased 47 +/- 7% in the DOB group and 19 +/- 7% in the SAL group but remained unchanged in the SAL+ACI condition. Glucose oxidation decreased 40 +/- 9% upon DOB, remained unchanged during SAL, and increased 27 +/- 11% upon SAL+ACI. Plasma free fatty acid (FFA) levels were increased by SAL (57 +/- 11%) and DOB (47 +/- 16%), whereas SAL+ACI caused about fourfold lower FFA levels compared with basal levels. No change in UCP3 was found after DOB or SAL, whereas SAL+ACI downregulated skeletal muscle UCP3 mRNA levels 38 +/- 13%. In conclusion, beta2-adrenergic stimulation directly increased energy expenditure independently of plasma FFA levels. Furthermore, this is the first study to demonstrate a downregulation of skeletal muscle UCP3 mRNA expression after the lowering of plasma FFA concentrations in humans, despite an increase in energy expenditure upon beta2-adrenergic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E775-E782
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology : Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

Cite this