Effects of beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation and blockade on substrate metabolism during submaximal exercise

R Mora-Rodriguez, B J Hodgkinson, L O Byerley, E F Coyle
American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 2001, 280 (5): E752-60
We used beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation and blockade as a tool to study substrate metabolism during exercise. Eight moderately trained subjects cycled for 60 min at 45% of VO(2 peak) 1) during a control trial (CON); 2) while epinephrine was intravenously infused at 0.015 microg. kg(-1) x min(-1) (beta-STIM); 3) after ingesting 80 mg of propranolol (beta-BLOCK); and 4) combining beta-BLOCK with intravenous infusion of Intralipid-heparin to restore plasma fatty acid (FFA) levels (beta-BLOCK+LIPID). beta-BLOCK suppressed lipolysis (i.e., glycerol rate of appearance) and fat oxidation while elevating carbohydrate oxidation above CON (135 +/- 11 vs. 113 +/- 10 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1); P < 0.05) primarily by increasing rate of disappearance (R(d)) of glucose (36 +/- 2 vs. 22 +/- 2 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1); P < 0.05). Plasma FFA restoration (beta-BLOCK+LIPID) attenuated the increase in R(d) glucose by more than one-half (28 +/- 3 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1); P < 0.05), suggesting that part of the compensatory increase in muscle glucose uptake is due to reduced energy from fatty acids. On the other hand, beta-STIM markedly increased glycogen oxidation and reduced glucose clearance and fat oxidation despite elevating plasma FFA. Therefore, reduced plasma FFA availability with beta-BLOCK increased R(d) glucose, whereas beta-STIM increased glycogen oxidation, which reduced fat oxidation and glucose clearance. In summary, compared with control exercise at 45% VO(2 peak) (CON), both beta-BLOCK and beta-STIM reduced fat and increased carbohydrate oxidation, albeit through different mechanisms.

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