Temporal response of rabbits to beta-adrenergic agonist feeding: tissue weight, calpains and calpastatin activities, and nucleic acid and protein concentrations.

T. D. Pringle, S. M. Lonergan, C. R. Calkins, S. J. Jones, P. S. Miller, M. Koohmaraie

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Forty-eight crossbred rabbits were used in three replications of a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement to investigate the short-term responses of tissue accretion, calpains and calpastatin activity, and nucleic acid and protein concentrations to beta-adrenergic agonist (BAA) feeding. Rabbits were fed a 17% CP diet with or without 7 ppm of L644,969 and slaughtered after 1, 4, 8, or 16 d of treatment. Empty body dressing percentage and biceps femoris weight (as a percentage of empty body weight [EBW]) were significantly higher in the treated rabbits than in the controls after 16 d of treatment. Heart and liver weights (as a percentage of EBW) were higher (P < .05) after 1 d and liver weight (as a percentage of EBW) was lower (P < .05) after 16 d in treated vs controls. Except for an elevation of skeletal muscle m-calpain after 16 d, BAA-supplementation did not affect the calpain-calpastatin system. Muscle RNA concentrations and RNA:DNA ratios were higher (P < .05) in treated rabbits after 1 d and remained higher thereafter. Protein:RNA ratios were lower (P < .01) in treated than in control rabbits after 4 d and remained lower throughout the trial. Muscle DNA content was lower after 4 d and higher after 16 d; RNA content was higher after 4, 8, and 16 d; and protein content was higher after 16 d in treated vs control rabbits. Liver nucleic acid and protein concentrations were not affected by BAA treatment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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