[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle wasting and weakness, leading to premature death from respiratory and/or cardiac failure. A clinically relevant question is whether myostatin inhibition can improve function of the diaphragm, which exhibits a severe and progressive pathology comparable with that in DMD. We hypothesized that antibody-directed myostatin inhibition would improve the pathophysiology of diaphragm muscle strips from young mdx mice (when the pathology is mild) and adult mdx mice (when the pathology is quite marked). Five weeks treatment with a mouse chimera of anti-human myostatin antibody (PF-354, 10 mg/kg/week) increased muscle mass (P < 0.05) and increased diaphragm median fiber cross-sectional area (CSA, P < 0.05) in young C57BL/10 and mdx mice, compared with saline-treated controls. PF-354 had no effect on specific force (sPo, maximum force normalized to muscle CSA) of diaphragm muscle strips from young C57BL/10 mice, but increased sPo by 84% (P < 0.05) in young mdx mice. In contrast, 8 weeks of PF-354 treatment did not improve muscle mass, median fiber CSA, collagen infiltration, or sPo of diaphragm muscle strips from adult mdx mice. PF-354 antibody-directed myostatin inhibition completely restored the functional capacity of diaphragm strips to control levels when treatment was initiated early, but not in the later stages of disease progression, suggesting that such therapies may only have a limited window of efficacy for DMD and related conditions.
American Journal Of Pathology 04/2010; 176(5):2425-34. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Follistatin binds and neutralizes members of the TGFbeta superfamily including activin, myostatin, and growth and differentiation factor 11 (GDF11). Crystal structure analysis of the follistatin-activin complex revealed extensive contacts between follistatin domain (FSD)-2 and activin that was critical for the high-affinity interaction. However, it remained unknown whether follistatin residues involved with myostatin and GDF11 binding were distinct from those involved with activin binding. If so, this would allow development of myostatin antagonists that would not inhibit activin actions, a desirable feature for development of myostatin antagonists for treatment of muscle-wasting disorders. We tested this hypothesis with our panel of point and domain swapping follistatin mutants using competitive binding analyses and in vitro bioassays. Our results demonstrate that activin binding and neutralization are mediated primarily by FSD2, whereas myostatin binding is more dependent on FSD1, such that deletion of FSD2 or adding an extra FSD1 in place of FSD2 creates myostatin antagonists with vastly reduced activin antagonism. However, these mutants also bind GDF11, indicating that further analysis is required for creation of myostatin antagonists that will not affect GDF11 activity that could potentially elicit GDF11-induced side effects in vivo.