Short Communication: Beta-adrenergic agonists alter oxidative phosphorylation in primary myoblasts

Renae L. Sieck, Leah K. Treffer, Anna M. Fuller, Martonio Ponte Viana, Oleh Khalimonchuk, Ty B. Schmidt, Dustin T. Yates, Jessica L. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Beta-adrenergic agonists (β-AAs) are widely used supplements in beef and pork production to improve feed efficiency and increase lean muscle mass, yet little is known about the molecular mechanism by which β-AAs achieve this outcome. Our objective was to identify the influence of ractopamine HCl and zilpaterol HCl on mitochondrial respiratory activity in muscle satellite cells isolated from crossbred beef steers (N = 5), crossbred barrows (N = 2), Yorkshire-cross gilts (N = 3), and commercial weather lambs (N = 5). Real-time measurements of oxygen consumption rates (OCRs) were recorded using extracellular flux analyses with a Seahorse XFe24 analyzer. After basal OCR measurements were recorded, zilpaterol HCl, ractopamine HCl, or no β-AA was injected into the assay plate in three technical replicates for each cell isolate. Then, oligomycin, carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone, and rotenone were injected into the assay plate sequentially, each inducing a different cellular state. This allowed for the measurement of OCR at these states and for the calculation of the following measures of mitochondrial function: basal respiration, non-mitochondrial respiration, maximal respiration, proton leak, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-linked respiration, and spare respiratory capacity. Incubation of bovine cells with either zilpaterol HCl or ractopamine HCl increased maximal respiration (P = 0.046) and spare respiratory capacity (P = 0.035) compared with non-supplemented counterparts. No difference (P > 0.05) was observed between zilpaterol HCl and ractopamine HCl for maximal respiration and spare respiratory capacity in bovine cell isolates. No measures of mitochondrial function (basal respiration, non-mitochondrial respiration, maximal respiration, proton leak, ATP-linked respiration, and spare respiratory capacity) were altered by β-AA treatment in ovine or porcine cells. These findings indicate that β-AAs in cattle may improve the efficiency of oxidative metabolism in muscle satellite cells by modifying mitochondrial respiratory activity. The lack of response by ovine and porcine cells to β-AA incubation also demonstrates differing physiological responses to β-AA across species, which helps to explain the variation in its effectiveness as a growth supplement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberskac208
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • mitochondria
  • oxidative metabolism
  • ractopamine HCl
  • respiratory efficiency
  • zilpaterol HCl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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