Blocking myostatin

Antibodies against myostatin improve the phenotype of a mouse muscular dystrophy model.

By | November 28, 2002

Myostatin is a member of the TGF-β family and is thought to function as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. In the November 28 Nature, Sasha Bogdanovich and colleagues demonstrate that inhibition of myostatin could be used as a therapeutic approach to increase muscle mass and treat myopathy diseases (Nature, 420:418-421, November 28, 2002).

Antibodies against myostatin were tested in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The treated mice gained weight, and displayed increased muscle mass and caloric output. The treatment caused a functional improvement of the dystrophic phenotype, suggesting that similar pharmacological strategies targeting myostatin might be applied to treat human muscular diseases and offer an alternative to gene therapy.

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