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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of fiber type and training on beta-adrenoceptor density in human skeletal muscle.

The density and distribution of beta-adrenergic receptors in type I and II fibers of human gastrocnemius and quadriceps muscles were characterized in ten healthy sedentary subjects and in a subgroup of six subjects before and after 12 wk of endurance exercise training. Total tissue content of beta-receptors was measured in frozen sections of skeletal muscle biopsies incubated with 125I-labeled cyanopindolol in the presence and absence of 10(-5) M L-propranolol. The relative beta-receptor densities of type I and II fibers were delineated autoradiographically. Muscle fiber types were identified in adjacent serial sections by histochemical staining of myofibrillar adenosine-triphosphatase (ATPase) activity. Type I fibers had a threefold greater beta-receptor density than type II fibers of the same muscle [P less than 0.001; type I-to-type II fiber ratio of beta-receptor density was 3.06 +/- 0.43 (SD)]. Exercise training elicited a change in muscle fiber subtype composition (+34% type IIa and -42% type IIb; P less than 0.05 and P = 0.066, respectively), a 40% increase in citrate synthase activity of skeletal muscle (P = 0.01), and a 23% rise in peak oxygen uptake (P less than 0.001). However, no change in total tissue content of beta-receptors was observed after exercise training, even when receptor density was adjusted for preconditioning fiber type composition. Thus beta-receptor density of type I fibers of human skeletal muscle is threefold greater than that of type II fibers. Enhanced capacity for aerobic metabolism after endurance exercise training is not associated with upregulation of total beta-receptor density.[1]


  1. Effects of fiber type and training on beta-adrenoceptor density in human skeletal muscle. Martin, W.H., Coggan, A.R., Spina, R.J., Saffitz, J.E. Am. J. Physiol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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