Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 197–203 | Cite as

Effect of clenbuterol on apoptosis, adipogenesis, and lipolysis in adipocytes

  • Hye-Kyeong Kim
  • Mary Anne Della-Fera
  • Dorothy B. Hausman
  • Clifton A. BaileEmail author
Original Paper


Clenbuterol, a beta2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) selective agonist, has been shown to decrease body fat in animals and can induce apoptosis in adipose tissue in mice. We hypothesized that direct actions of a β-adrenergic receptor agonist on adipocytes could trigger the observed apoptotic effect. The hypothesis was inspected by investigating the direct effect of clenbuterol on apoptosis, adipogenesis, and lipolysis in vitro using the 3T3-L1 cell line and rat primary adipocytes. Cells were treated with 10−9 to 10−5 M clenbuterol depending on the experiments. There was no apoptotic effect of clenbuterol both in 3T3-L1 cells and rat primary adipocytes. Adipogenesis monitored by Oil Red O staining and AdipoRed™ assay was modestly decreased by clenbuterol treatment (p < 0.05). In fully differentiated primary adipocytes, clenbuterol increased basal lipolysis compared with the control (p < 0.01). In summary, direct stimulation of β2-AR by clenbuterol does not cause apoptosis in adipocytes, despite a direct lipolytic stimulation and attenuation of adipogenesis.


Adipocyte apoptosis β-adrenergic receptor agonist Clenbuterol 



This study was supported in part by the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar endowment held by CA Baile.


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Copyright information

© University of Navarra 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hye-Kyeong Kim
    • 1
  • Mary Anne Della-Fera
    • 2
  • Dorothy B. Hausman
    • 3
  • Clifton A. Baile
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and NutritionThe Catholic University of KoreaBucheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Animal and Dairy ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Department of Foods and NutritionUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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