New article on the effect of β2-agonist treatment 

The article from our colleague Sten van Beek is now online available and will be published in Nature Communications with the following title: “Effect of β2-agonist treatment on insulin-stimulated peripheral glucose disposal in healthy men in a randomised placebo-controlled trial”.

The full article can be found here:

Read the abstract below.


β2-agonist treatment improves skeletal muscle glucose uptake and whole-body glucose homeostasis in rodents, likely via mTORC2-mediated signalling. However, human data on this topic is virtually absent. We here investigate the effects of two-weeks treatment with the β2-agonist clenbuterol (40 µg/day) on glucose control as well as energy- and substrate metabolism in healthy young men (age: 18-30 years, BMI: 20-25 kg/m2) in a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, cross-over study ( NCT03800290). Randomisation occurred by controlled randomisation and the final allocation sequence was seven (period 1: clenbuterol, period 2: placebo) to four (period 1: placebo, period 2: clenbuterol). The primary and secondary outcome were peripheral insulin-stimulated glucose disposal and skeletal muscle GLUT4 translocation, respectively. Primary analyses were performed on eleven participants. No serious adverse events were reported. The study was performed at Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, between August 2019 and April 2021. Clenbuterol treatment improved peripheral insulin-stimulated glucose disposal by 13% (46.6 ± 3.5 versus 41.2 ± 2.7 µmol/kg/min, p = 0.032), whereas skeletal muscle GLUT4 translocation assessed in overnight fasted muscle biopsies remained unaffected. These results highlight the potential of β2-agonist treatment in improving skeletal muscle glucose uptake and underscore the therapeutic value of this pathway for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, given the well-known (cardiovascular) side-effects of systemic β2-agonist treatment, further exploration on the underlying mechanisms is needed to identify viable therapeutic targets.