Myostatin inhibitor

Myostatin, a secreted TGF beta protein family member, inhibits muscle differentiation and growth; it works by binding with a specific receptor (called activin type 2 receptor). Because it inhibits growth, it is a “negative regulator.” Typically, those with less myostatin have bigger muscles, which makes sense because it inhibits muscle growth. Research is being done on myostatin in an effort to treat certain muscle growth abnormalities; it is suggested that the removal or blockage of myostatin will lead to significantly larger muscle growth. Some people are born with a genetic mutation; their myostatin is in some way dysfunctional, causing their muscles to hypertrophy, or grow excessively, at an early age very quickly. Myostatin has a big impact on the human body; let’s take a look.

How Myostatin Inhibitors Work

Mice have been the subject of many experiments in an effort to learn more about myostatin. There has been considerable work done so far, and some questions have been answered. One of those questions is: how do myostatin inhibitors work in the body? Well, they act in a few different ways, meaning there are a few parts of the cell cycle that myostatin can inhibit.

  1. During growth, precursor muscle cells (myoblasts) enter the cell cycle and multiply until a domino of signals, initiated by a myogenic regulatory factor, causes these myoblasts to withdraw from the proliferating cycle. The result is the differentiation of these myoblasts into multinucleated myotubes, which mature into fully developed muscle fibers. Myostatin can inhibit this activity and the expression factors of the myogenic regulatory factor, thus preventing the differentiation of the myoblasts into tubules.
  2. Satellite cells are stem cells of muscles that basically hibernate in mature muscle until they are needed. This need comes from an injury to a nearby muscle; the satellite cells are activated and follow the cell cycle mentioned earlier, except in the end they fuse to the injured muscle, repairing the damage. Myostatin can inhibit the action of satellite cells.
  3. Myostatin inhibitor can also work by inhibiting Akt-induced protein synthesis. Akt is a co-receptor for Myostatin.

Significance of Myostatin Inhibitor
Recently there has been research into how myostatin inhibitors can be used for some diseases and even as a dietary supplement of sorts. However there are some limitations to such usage, because not enough clinical evidence has been found to fully support these theories. Also, with a lack of information and sound research, it is difficult to tackle making such a substance that could inhibit myostatin successfully.

  • From the research done thus far, there appears to be a correlation between certain muscle diseases and increased myostatin levels. An example would be AIDS patients who have decreased immune function and deterioration of muscle tissue (“muscle wasting”) due to excessive levels of myostatin.
  • Finding the key that could block or inhibit Myostatin would be an athlete’s dream; if you can get rid of the very thing that blocks the building of muscle, it would have a very big and successful market in athletics. Most athletes desire to grow muscle more so than anyone else.

Why a Myostatin Inhibitor Might Not Work
There are myostatin inhibitors that you can buy over-the-counter, but there is some question to their effectiveness. The dosage is typically one pill, which is supposed to be taken with plenty of water. The problem with these OTC supplements is the dosage; there is speculation that it is simply not enough to give the desired results of myostatin suppression. There is also a risk of injury due to a change in collagen production, leading to more brittle muscle tendons, although more muscle. Lastly, in the studies done so far, when supplementing with myostatin, there was an increase in muscle size, but not necessarily an increase in muscle strength.

Last updated on Jul 2nd, 2010 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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