Muscle metabolism and real-time ultrasound measurement of muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue growth in lambs fed diets containing a beta-agonist. Academic Article uri icon


  • Rambouillet X Finn crossbred wether lambs were evaluated for differences in longissimus muscle cross-sectional area and overlaying subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness resulting from the use of the beta-agonist clenbuterol. Treatment groups received 0 and 2 ppm clenbuterol in the diet for approximately 40 d prior to slaughter. Longissimus muscle cross-sectional area and fat depth over the 12th-13th rib juncture were measured by real-time ultrasound before and during administration of the compound. At slaughter, muscle metabolism in vitro and carcass characteristics were measured. Based on comparisons with an initial-kill group of sheep, longissimus muscle cross-sectional area increased in control sheep by 12% (P greater than .05) over the 40-d experimental period, and increased in clenbuterol-fed sheep by 48% (P less than .05). Conversely, subcutaneous fat thickness increased significantly in the control sheep (88%) during this period, but was unchanged in the clenbuterol-fed animals. Warner-Bratzler shear force values of cooked longissimus samples from clenbuterol-fed sheep were significantly greater than shear force values in cooked samples from control lambs; this was not correlated with the extractable neutral lipid content of the muscle. Simple linear regression between ultrasound and carcass measurements of longissimus muscle cross-sectional area and subcutaneous fat thickness yielded correlation coefficients of .80 and .64, respectively. A significantly greater amount of net glycogen synthesis from [U-14C]glucose was observed in longissimus muscle strips from clenbuterol-fed animals than in muscle strips from control sheep.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hamby, P. L., Stouffer, J. R., & Smith, S. B.

citation count

  • 69

complete list of authors

  • Hamby, PL||Stouffer, JR||Smith, SB

publication date

  • November 1986