Dietary administration of the anabolic agent, clenbuterol, has already been shown to inhibit or reverse denervation-induced atrophy in rat soleus muscles. We now show that the ameliorative effects of clenbuterol in denervated rat muscles are due principally to a large increase in protein synthesis. This results from both an increase in protein synthetic capacity and a normalised translational efficiency. The responses of innervated and denervated muscles are therefore fundamentally different, the changes in denervated muscles being reminiscent of the classical pleiotypic response of cells to growth factors.

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