Zilpaterol hydrochloride lowers marbling score by dilution of marbling and depression of intramuscular adipocyte volume in M. longissimus dorsi of beef steers Academic Article uri icon


  • We hypothesized that zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) depresses marbling scores in beef cattle by dilution of the intramuscular (i.m.) adipose tissue in the longissimus thoracis (LT) by increased muscle cross-sectional area. Crossbred steers were treated with ractopamine hydrochloride (RH; 28 d) or ZH (20 d) or no β-adrenergic agonist (CON). ZH increased LT cross-sectional area (P < .001) and depressed rib fat depth (P < .001), USDA marbling score (P < .05), percent LT lipid (P < .02), total lipid in a 2.54 cm-thick LM steak (P < .05) and most LT lipid fatty acids (P ≤ .05),but had no effect on mean i.m. adipocyte volume (P = .15). ZH increased the relative volume proportion of smaller i.m. adipocytes (250 to 500 pL) and decreased the proportion of larger i.m. adipocytes (2000 and 3000 pL) (P < .05). We conclude that ZH reduces marbling score both by dilution of the marbling and a depression of i.m. adipocyte relative volumes.

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Gonzales, C. L., Lawrence, T. E., Hutcheson, J. P., & Smith, S. B.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • July 2020