[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.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · American Journal Of Pathology
[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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle atrophy occurs as a consequence of injury, illness, surgery, and muscle disuse, impacting appreciably on health care costs and patient quality of life, particularly in the absence of appropriate rehabilitation. The molecular mechanisms that regulate muscle mass during atrophy and rehabilitation in humans have not been elucidated, despite several robust candidate pathways being identified. Here, we induced skeletal muscle atrophy in healthy volunteers using two weeks of limb immobilization, and then stimulated the restoration of muscle mass with six weeks of supervised exercise rehabilitation. We determined muscle mass and function and performed targeted gene expression analysis at prescribed time points during immobilization and rehabilitation. For the first time, we have identified novel changes in gene expression following immobilization-induced atrophy and during a program of rehabilitative exercise that restored muscle mass and function. Furthermore, we have shown that exercise performed immediately following immobilization induces profound changes in the expression of a number of genes in favor of the restoration of muscle mass, within 24 h. This information will be of considerable importance to our understanding of how immobilization and contraction stimulate muscle atrophy and hypertrophy, respectively, and to the development of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at maintaining or restoring muscle mass.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · The FASEB Journal