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Inhibiting Myostatin With Follistatin Improves the Success of Myoblast Transplantation in Dystrophic Mice

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Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a recessive disease due to a mutation in the dystrophin gene. Myoblast transplantation permits to introduce the dystrophin gene in dystrophic muscle fibers. However, the success of this approach is reduced by the short duration of the regeneration following the transplantation, which reduces the number of hybrid fibers. Our aim was to verify whether the success of the myoblast transplantation is enhanced by blocking the myostatin signal with an antagonist, follistatin. Three different approaches were studied to overexpress follistatin in the muscles of mdx mice transplanted with myoblasts. First, transgenic follistatin/mdx mice were generated; second, a follistatin plasmid was electroporated in mdx muscles, and finally, follistatin was induced in mdx mice muscles by a treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. The three approaches improved the success of the myoblast transplantation. Moreover, fiber hypertrophy was also observed in all muscles, demonstrating that myostatin inhibition by follistatin is a good method to improve myoblast transplantation and muscle function. Myostatin inhibition by follistatin in combination with myoblast transplantation is thus a promising novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of muscle wasting in diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Follistatin; Myoblast transplantation; Myostatin

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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