Contribution of β3-adrenoceptor activation to ephedrine induced thermogenesis in humans

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  • Y. L. Liu
  • S. Toubro
  • Arne Astrup
  • M. J. Stock

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the contribution of β3-adrenoceptor activation to sympathetic stimulation of thermogenesis in humans using a sympathomimetic (ephedrine) in combination with a non-selective β-adrenoceptor antagonist (nadolol). DESIGN: Three doses (2.5, 5 and 10 mg) of nadolol were used to estimate what fraction of the thermogenic response to ephedrine (30 mg) remained after inhibition of β1- and β2-adrenoceptor mediated responses. SUBJECTS: Nine healthy, young male volunteers at rest after an overnight fast. MEASUREMENTS: Energy expenditure, respiratory quotient, heart rate, blood pressure and plasma potassium, glucose, lactate, glycerol, NEFA and triglycerides were measured before, and for 3 h after treatment with placebo, ephedrine and ephedrine plus three doses of nadolol. RESULTS: Ephedrine produced significant increases in energy expenditure (thermogenesis), heart rate, systolic blood pressure and plasma glucose; the other parameters measured did not change significantly. Nadolol caused significant inhibition of all responses, but 43% of the thermogenic response to ephedrine remained after the 2.5 mg dose of nadolol, whereas the same dose completely inhibited the heart rate and plasma glucose responses. CONCLUSION: All three β-adrenoceptor subtypes (β1, β2 and β3) may be involved in ephedrine-induced thermogenesis, but the resistance to complete inhibition by the non-selective antagonist nadolol indicates that at least 40% of the response is mediated by an atypical receptor, which is presumed to be the β3-adrenoceptor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1995

    Research areas

  • β-adrenoceptors, Ephedrine, Human, Nadolol, Sympathetic, Thermogenesis

ID: 209797335