Building muscle, browning fat and preventing obesity by inhibiting myostatin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The obesity epidemic is an overwhelming global health concern. Interventions to improve body weight and composition aim to restore balance between nutrient intake and energy expenditure. Myostatin, a powerful negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass, has emerged as a potential therapeutic target for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus because of the prominent role skeletal muscle plays in metabolic rate and insulin-mediated glucose disposal. In fact, inhibition of myostatin by genetic manipulation or pharmacological means leads to a hypermuscular and very lean build in mice. The resistance of myostatin-null mice to diet-induced obesity, fat mass accumulation and metabolic dysfunction has been presumed to be a result of their large skeletal muscle mass; however, in this issue of Diabetologia, Zhang et al. (doi:10.1007/s00125-011-2304-4) provide evidence that myostatin inhibition also significantly impacts the phenotype of white adipose tissue (WAT). The authors reveal elevated expression of key metabolic genes of fatty acid transport and oxidation and, intriguingly, the presence of brown adipose tissue-like cells in WAT of myostatin-null mice. They also show that pharmacological inhibition of myostatin replicates several of the protective benefits conveyed by its genetic inactivation. Herein, these data, areas in need of further investigation and the evidence that implicates myostatin as a target for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetologia
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • ActRIIB
  • Adipogenesis
  • Brown fat
  • Diabetes
  • Fatty acid oxidation
  • Myostatin
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Building muscle, browning fat and preventing obesity by inhibiting myostatin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this