Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Myostatin Inhibitors May Improve Recovery Of Wartime Limb Injuries

Date:
July 13, 2008
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
Inhibiting a growth factor that keeps muscles from getting too big may optimize recovery of injured soldiers, researchers say. Bone biologists are studying two myostatin inhibitors in mice with limb injuries, first to see which works best and then to identify the best delivery mechanism.

Inhibiting a growth factor that keeps muscles from getting too big may optimize recovery of injured soldiers, researchers say.
Credit: Image courtesy of Medical College of Georgia

Inhibiting a growth factor that keeps muscles from getting too big may optimize recovery of injured soldiers, researchers say.

They are studying two myostatin inhibitors in mice with limb injuries, first to see which works best and then to identify the best delivery mechanism, says Dr. Mark Hamrick, bone biologist in the Medical College of Georgia Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine.

"Fifty to 60 percent of the injuries occurring in Iraq are to the limbs, and the average injury requires five surgeries," Dr. Hamrick says. "Myostatin inhibitors are known to improve muscle regeneration and we have evidence that they also increase bone formation. We believe these inhibitors will result in a stronger, more rapid recovery for these soldiers and other victims of traumatic limb injuries."

A $1.2 million grant from the Office of Naval Research to Dr. Hamrick is enabling laboratory studies of two experimental myostatin inhibitors: a decoy receptor and a binding protein, both developed by MetaMorphix, Inc. of Beltsville, Md. Both inhibitors have been shown effective in muscle regeneration, but this is the first trial that looks at their impact on bone.

Two delivery mechanisms also will be studied. "Is the best approach a single injection bolus that circulates everywhere or just localized delivery?" Dr. Hamrick says.

Study collaborators include Dr. Li Liang of the life sciences company MetaMorphix, who will oversee development of the inhibitors; Dr. Xuejun Wen, bioengineer at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C.; and David Immel, radiographic imaging expert at Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, S.C., who will provide three-dimensional, high-resolution computerized tomography scans of injured limbs before and after treatment.

Myostatin is primarily produced by muscle cells. Females tend to produce more myostatin receptors, which helps explain why men tend to have greater muscle mass. Dr. Hamrick's lab also has found the receptor on bone-derived stem cells – needed to help repair an injury – and others have found it in healing fractures. "When you take it away, the healed callus that forms at the fracture site has more bone in it," says Dr. Hamrick. "Myostatin also increases fibrosis and scarring within tissue so part of what you are doing is blocking that."

Bone and muscle healing typically go hand in hand. Muscle provides blood, growth factors and potentially stem cells for a healing callus. It's not yet known how well bones reciprocate. "If you can improve muscle healing, you can improve bone healing," Dr. Hamrick says. "Young people have a tremendous potential to heal that can be improved with better approaches to preventing infection and to healing soft tissue and bone in an integrated manner."

Researchers hope to move to clinical trials in two to three years, Dr. Hamrick says. "If we find the primary role of myostatin is very early in the healing process and see a big jump in expression early in a fracture callus, it may be that a single injection bolus immediately after injury is the best time for treatment rather than continued treatment over a period of time."

Myostatin is most highly expressed during development, but adults have some as well, so blocking it still facilitates muscle growth and development, primarily in response to exercise. Myostatin expression also tends to rise following an injury, apparently to control proliferation of new and regenerating cells, Dr. Hamrick says. Although there is no FDA-approved myostatin inhibitor, body builders often take supplements that claim to reduce myostatin function and help build muscle.

A whole spectrum of naturally occurring genetic variations likely result in minor alterations in myostatin signaling that could help explain why some people are more muscular than others, Dr. Hamrick notes. In a separate study funded by the National Institutes of Health, he is using a genetically engineered ‘mighty mouse,' which is missing the myostatin gene, to find the best way to optimize bone growth and help young people avoid osteoporosis. German researchers reported in 2004 in the New England Journal of Medicine the case of a child whose muscles already were bulging as a newborn apparently because of a dysfunctional myostatin gene.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Myostatin Inhibitors May Improve Recovery Of Wartime Limb Injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708155553.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2008, July 13). Myostatin Inhibitors May Improve Recovery Of Wartime Limb Injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708155553.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Myostatin Inhibitors May Improve Recovery Of Wartime Limb Injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708155553.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins