Effects of therapeutic doses of albuterol on β2-adrenergic receptor density and metabolic changes

Michael Anstead, Travis Hunt, John McConnell, Nausherwan Burki, N. Burki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


β2-Agonist drugs at inhaled supratherapeutic doses or when given orally or parenterally alter peripheral lymphocyte β2-adrenoceptor density (βAR) and have demonstrable metabolic effects. However, it is not known whether these changes occur at therapeutic inhaled doses. We therefore studied the effects of therapeutic doses of inhaled albuterol in five asthmatic subjects (mean age 23.0 ± 2.4 years) and six normal subjects (mean age 28.3 ± 3.3 years). Subjects were studied in a randomized, double-blind protocol in which each subject received either inhaled albuterol (270 μg four times daily) for 2 weeks followed by placebo or vice versa in two sequential 2-week periods separated by a 2-week washout period. In the asthmatics, baseline FEV1 increased significantly (p < 0.05) after 2 weeks of inhaled albuterol treatment compared to the initial visit and after 2 weeks of placebo (mean FEV1: 3.2 L ± 0.7 L, 2.9 L ± 0.5 L, and 3.0 L ± 0.7 L, respectively). Baseline peripheral lymphocyte βAR was not significantly different (p > 0.05) between the asthmatic (mean: 757 ± 176) and normal subjects (mean: 732 ± 251). However, in neither group was there any significant change (p > 0.05) in βAR or plasma potassium, insulin, or glucose, either acutely or after 2 weeks of albuterol therapy. The present study confirms that there is no difference in peripheral lymphocyte βAR between asthmatic and normal subjects and also shows that at therapeutic doses of inhaled albuterol, there are no significant changes in βAR or metabolic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partly supported by a grant from The Jewish Hospital Heart-Lung Institute, Louisville, Kentucky.


  • Asthma
  • Plasma potassium
  • β-Adrenoceptors
  • β-Agonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of therapeutic doses of albuterol on β2-adrenergic receptor density and metabolic changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this