European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 131–135 | Cite as

Modulation of adrenergic receptors and adrenergic functions in cold adapted humans

  • Ladislav Janský
  • Stanislav VybíralEmail author
  • Miloslava Trubačová
  • Jan Okrouhlík
Original Article


To specify the role of adrenoceptors in mediating adrenergic functions after adaptation of humans to cold, effect of administration of increasing concentrations of β1 and β2 adrenomimetics (Dobutamine, Bricanyl) on resting metabolic rate, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, rectal and skin temperatures of control humans and of cold adapted winter swimmers was studied. Increase in metabolic rate, mediated by β1 and β2 adrenomimetics, was attenuated after cold adaptation, indicating downregulation of β1 and β2 adrenoceptors. Since cold adapted humans have greater capacity of nonshivering thermogenesis, than that mediated by both β1 and β2 adrenoceptors, the role of other subtypes of adrenoceptors in mediating nonshivering thermogenesis is anticipated. Heart rate increased after administration of the β2 agonist, but was not influenced by the β1 agonist. The significance of β2 adrenoceptors in mediating heart rate was depressed after cold adaptation. Data indicate that modifications of activity of β adrenoceptors play crucial role in mechanisms responsible for adaptation of humans to cold.


Adrenergic receptors and functions Cold adaptation Humans 



This study was financially supported by the Priessnitz Spa in Jeseník, Czech Rep.


  1. Arch JRS (2001) The β3-adrenergic system and β3-adrenergic agonists. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 2:385–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arch JRS (2002) β3-adrenoceptor agonists: potential, pitfall and progress. Eur J Pharmacol 440:99–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaak EE, Van Baak MA, Kempen KPG, Saris WHM (1993a) Role of α- and β-adrenoceptors in sympathetically mediated thermogenesis. Am J Physiol 264:E11–E17PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Blaak EE, Saris WMH, van Blaak MA (1993b) Adrenoceptor subtypes mediating catecholamine-induced thermogenesis in man. Int J Obes 17: S78–S81Google Scholar
  5. Eysmann SB, Gervino E, Vatner DE, Katz SE, Decker L (1996) Prolonged exercise alters beta-adrenergic responsiveness in healthy sedentary humans. J Appl Physiol 80:616–622PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Fischetti F, Fabris B, Zaccaria M, Biagi A, Calci M, Candido R, Bertoletto M, Carreta R (2000) Effects of prolonged high-altitude exposure on peripheral adrenergic receptors in young healthy volunteers. Eur J Appl Physiol 82:439–445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fitzgerald GA, Robertson D, Wood AJ (1981) Beta-adrenoreceptor down-regulation by dynamic exercise and upright posture in man. Trans Assoc Am Physicians 94:310–313PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Friedman DB, Ordway GA, Williams RS (1987) Exercise-induced functional desensitization of canine cardiac beta-adrenergic receptors. J Appl Physiol 62:1721–1723PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hagström-Toft E, Enoksson S, Moberg E, Bolinder J, Arner P (1998) Adrenergic regulation of lipolysis and blood flow in human skeletal muscles in vivo. Am J Physiol 275:E909–E916PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Janský L (1988) Cold-induced thermogenesis. In: Ueda G et al (eds) High-altitude medical science. Shinshu Univ., Matsumuto, pp 349–360Google Scholar
  11. Janský P, Janský L (2002) Sites and cellular mechanisms of human adrenergic thermogenesis—a review. J Therm Biol 27:269–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Janský L, Bartůňková R, Zeisberger E (1967) Acclimation of the white rat to cold. Noradrenaline thermogenesis. Physiol Bohemoslov 16:366–372PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Janský L, Šrámek P, Šavlíková J, Uličný B, Janáková H, Horký K (1996a) Changes in sympathetic activity, cardiovascular functions and plasma hormone concentrations due to cold water immersion in man. Eur J Appl Physiol 74:148–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Janský L, Uličný B, Šrámek P, Hošek V, Heller J, Pařízková J (1996b) Changes in thermal homeostasis in humans due to repeated cold water immersions. Pflügers Arch Eur J Physiol 432:368–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Janský L, Vybíral S, Štich P, Šrámek P, Kvítek J, Lesná I, Šimečková M (1997) Human humoral thermogenesis. Ann NY Acad Sci 813:689–696PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Krief S, Lönnqvist F, Raimbault S, Beaude B, Van Spronsen A, Arner P, Strosberg AD, Ricquier D, Emorine LJ (1999) Tissue distribution of beta 3 adrenergic receptor mRNA in man. J Clin Invest 91:344–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lesná I, Vybíral S, Janský L, Zeman V (1999) Human nonshivering thermogenesis. J Therm Biol 24:63–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu Y-L, Toubro S, Astrup A, Stock MJ (1995) Contribution of β3-adrenoceptor activation to ephedrine-induced thermogenesis in humans. Int J Obes 19:678–685Google Scholar
  19. Mejsnar J, Janský L (1971) Methods for estimating nonshivering thermogenesis. In: Janský L (ed) Nonshivering thermogenesis. Academia, Prague, pp 27–38Google Scholar
  20. Šimečková M, Janský L, Lesná I, Vybíral S, Šrámek P (2000) Role of beta adrenoceptors in metabolic and cardiovascular responses of cold exposed humans. J Therm Biol 25:437–442PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Šrámek P, Šimečková M, Janský L, Šavlíková J, Vybíral S (2000) Human physiological responses due to immersion into water of different temperatures. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 81:436–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stallknecht B, Büllow J, Frandsen E (1997) Desensitization of human adipose tissue to adrenaline stimulation. J Physiol (Lond.) 500:271–282Google Scholar
  23. Svoboda P, Unelius L, Cannon B, Nedergaard J (1993) Attenuation of Gs coupling efficiency in brown-adipose tissue plasma membranes from cold acclimated hamsters. Biochem J 295:655–661PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Vybíral S, Lesná I, Janský L, Zeman V (2000) Thermoregulation in winter swimmers and physiological significance of human adrenergic thermogenesis. Exp Physiol 85:322–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wheeldon NM, McDewitt DG, Lipworth BJ (1993) Do β3-adrenoceptors mediate metabolic response to isoprenaline? Q J Med 81:595–600Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ladislav Janský
    • 1
  • Stanislav Vybíral
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miloslava Trubačová
    • 2
  • Jan Okrouhlík
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaBudweisCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPrahaCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations