Beta Blockers May Blunt Exercise Benefits


β-Adrenergic receptor blockade blunts postexercise skeletal muscle mitochondrial protein synthesis rates in humans.

β-Adrenergic receptor (AR) signaling is a regulator of skeletal muscle protein synthesis and mitochondrial biogenesis in mice. We hypothesized that β-AR blockade blunts postexercise skeletal muscle mitochondrial protein synthesis rates in adult humans. Six healthy men (mean ± SD: 26 ± 6 yr old, 39.9 ± 4.9 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1) peak O(2) uptake, 26.7 ± 2.0 kg/m(2) body mass index) performed 1 h of stationary cycle ergometer exercise (60% peak O(2) uptake) during 1) β-AR blockade (intravenous propranolol) and 2) administration of saline (control). Skeletal muscle mitochondrial, myofibrillar, and sarcoplasmic protein synthesis rates were assessed using [(2)H(5)]phenylalanine incorporation into skeletal muscle proteins after exercise. The mRNA content of signals for mitochondrial biogenesis was determined using real-time PCR. β-AR blockade decreased mitochondrial (from 0.217 ± 0.076 to 0.135 ± 0.031%/h, P < 0.05), but not myofibrillar or sarcoplasmic, protein synthesis rates. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α mRNA was increased ∼2.5-fold (P < 0.05) at 5 h compared with 1 h postexercise but was not influenced by β-AR blockade. We conclude that decreased β-AR signaling during cycling can blunt the postexercise increase in mitochondrial protein synthesis rates without affecting mRNA content.

Robinson MM, Bell C, Peelor FF, Miller BF
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. Aug 2011
PMID: 21613574 | Free Full Text

Given that increased muscle tends to increase bone, this is somewhat negative, even though there is some evidence that beta blockers plus exercise is additive for bone.

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