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

Lipomobilizing effects of procaterol and yohimbine in the conscious dog: comparison of endocrinological, metabolic and cardiovascular effects.

1. Lipid mobilization during a hypocaloric diet may be enhanced by a pharmacological approach using beta 2-adrenoceptor agonists or alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonists. Studies were undertaken in the dog, an animal model presenting fat cell antilipolytic alpha 2- and lipolytic beta-adrenoceptors, in order, firstly, to demonstrate the presence of beta 2 subtype adrenoceptors on adipocytes and, secondly, to compare the effects of procaterol (beta 2-adrenoceptor agonist) and of yohimbine (alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist) on metabolic, endocrinological and cardiovascular parameters. 2. Procaterol strongly stimulates lipolysis in dog adipocytes in vitro. The utilisation of selective beta 1- and beta 2-adrenoceptor antagonists (bisoprolol and ICI 118,551) in both lipolysis and binding studies (displacement of [3H]-dihydroalprenolol binding) demonstrated the presence of the two beta-adrenoceptor subtypes in dog fat cells. 3. Infusion of either yohimbine or procaterol (10 and 0.4 nmol min-1 kg-1, respectively for 30 min), provoked an equivalent increase in plasma non-esterified fatty acids (+100%). Procaterol, but not yohimbine, induced hyperglycaemia (+120%). Plasma insulin was weakly enhanced by yohimbine (+120%) as compared to the increase given by procaterol (+500%). 4. Both drugs stimulated sympathetic nervous system activity, as indicated by the increased plasma noradrenaline concentration, but only yohimbine increased the plasma adrenaline level. 5. Cardiovascular measurements indicated that procaterol strongly enhances heart rate and transiently decreases mean blood pressure. Yohimbine exhibits a weaker effect on heart rate and slightly increases mean blood pressure. 6. The present work clearly indicates that lipid mobilization is enhanced during fasting in the dog by selective beta 2-adrenoceptor stimulation or by alpha 2-adrenoceptor blockade. This enhanced lipolytic effect may result either from a direct action of the drugs on the adrenoceptors of fat cells or from an activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Procaterol suffers major limitations since it strongly increases heart rate, immunoreactive insulin and glycaemia. On the other hand, yohimbine induces only minor modifications both in cardiovascular and endocrinological parameters.[1]


  1. Lipomobilizing effects of procaterol and yohimbine in the conscious dog: comparison of endocrinological, metabolic and cardiovascular effects. Valet, P., Taouis, M., Tran, M.A., Montastruc, P., Lafontan, M., Berlan, M. Br. J. Pharmacol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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