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

Effect of selective beta-adrenoceptor stimulation on UCP synthesis in primary cultures of brown adipocytes.

Given the co-existence of the three beta-adrenoceptor (beta AR) subtypes (beta 1AR, beta 2AR and beta 3AR) in brown adipocytes, the present study was undertaken to determine the relative importance of these in the induction of UCP synthesis in mouse BAT precursor cells in primary culture. Cells at different stages of differentiation were exposed to different beta AR agonists: prenalterol (a selective beta 1AR agonist), salbutamol or clenbuterol (selective beta 2AR agonists), or BRL 37344 (a selective beta 3AR agonist). As with the endogenous agonist, noradrenaline, and the non-selective beta AR agonist, isoprenaline, all four beta AR agonists induced UCP in the confluent stage of the cells, but with different potencies, and with the highest induction being seen after clenbuterol or BRL 37344 treatment. Cells in the confluent stage of development were the most sensitive to the effects of the agonists, although clenbuterol and BRL 37344 induced a weak UCP synthesis in pre-confluent cells. None of these beta AR agonists were able to induce UCP synthesis in the post-confluent period. The responses to prenalterol and salbutamol were inhibited by propranolol at relatively low concentrations, suggesting their effects were mediated by beta 1AR and beta 2AR, respectively. However, propranolol was a particularly weak antagonist of BRL 37344 and, unexpectedly, of the clenbuterol UCP responses, which suggests that both induce UCP synthesis via the beta 3AR. In summary, the beta 3AR is the most important adrenoceptor coupled to the induction of UCP synthesis, although both beta 1AR and beta 2AR activation may make a contribution. However, all three beta AR subtypes do not become fully functional until cultured cells become confluent.[1]


  1. Effect of selective beta-adrenoceptor stimulation on UCP synthesis in primary cultures of brown adipocytes. Puigserver, P., Picó, C., Stock, M.J., Palou, A. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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