Myostatin inhibitors as therapies for muscle wasting associated with cancer and other disorders

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2013 Dec;7(4):352-60. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000013.


Purpose of review: This review summarizes recent progress in the development of myostatin inhibitors for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders. It also focuses on findings in myostatin biology that may have implications for the development of antimyostatin therapies.

Recent findings: There has been progress in evaluating antimyostatin therapies in animal models of muscle wasting disorders. Some programs have progressed into clinical development with initial results showing positive impact on muscle volume.In normal mice myostatin deficiency results in enlarged muscles with increased total force but decreased specific force (total force/total mass). An increase in myofibrillar protein synthesis without concomitant satellite cell proliferation and fusion leads to muscle hypertrophy with unchanged myonuclear number. A specific force reduction is not observed when atrophied muscle, the predominant therapeutic target of myostatin inhibitor therapy, is made myostatindeficient.Myostatin has been shown to be expressed by a number of tumor cell lines in mice and man.

Summary: Myostatin inhibition remains a promising therapeutic strategy for a range of muscle wasting disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / complications
  • Cachexia / drug therapy*
  • Cachexia / etiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / drug therapy*
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Myostatin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Myostatin / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Myostatin