Follistatin 344 – Myostatin Interplay
Myostatin is a peptide released by the muscle cells (called myocytes). It belongs to the Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). It is a myokinase (muscle destroying protein) that reduces the bulk of forces. Myostatin inhibits the growth and differentiation of muscle cells. It can also lead to muscle fibrosis and shrinkage of organs such as the heart.
Follistatin is a protein that naturally exists in the body. Follistatin 344 is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring protein. The main action of Follistatin-344 is to antagonize the function of TGF-β. The TGF-β family comprises Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), myostatin, and activin. In addition to inhibiting the TGF-β, Follistatin 344 parts by acting on the IGF-1/Insulin pathway. These actions of Follistatin 344 have immense potential for muscle building. It could also potentially have use in conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
Follistatin 344 – The Possible Research Implications
Follistatin 344 has been used in several research studies and can have multiple implications.
1. Role in Muscle Growth
As mentioned, myostatin functions to reduce muscle mass. It is a member of the TGF-1 family and inhibits the growth and differentiation of muscle fibers. Studies have suggested that follistatin 344 has potent anti-myostatin action.
Researchers investigated the effects of knocking out myostatin in mice. They found that mice who lacked myostatin had greater muscle mass. In another research, scientists studied administering Follistatin 344 on muscle mass in mice. Results showed that the administration of Follistatin 344 in the absence of any other muscle-building factor led to a remarkable increase in muscle mass. Results further showed that supplementing Follistatin 344 with a regular diet and exercise could improve the outcomes.
Follistatin 344 increases muscle bulk by engaging two main mechanisms: hypertrophy and hyperplasia. Hypertrophy results in an increase in the size of individual muscle cells. Hyperplasia increases the number of muscle fibers. This property of Follistatin 344 can be helpful in bodybuilding.
Another therapeutic benefit of Follistatin 344 is its ability to reduce the inflammation and fibrosis of muscle fibers. An increase in muscle inflammation and early fibrosis is the critical pathology in conditions such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Research has suggested that even a single administration of Follistatin 344 can have potent and lasting effects on muscle growth. Scientists reported that a single injection led to muscle growth for up to two years, and it was independent of the age of the subjects.
2. Effects on Diabetes Mellitus
Type 1 diabetes results from a reduced expression of insulin-secreting beta-pancreatic cells. It results in reduced insulin secretion and poor glucose metabolism. Follistatin 344 in research models led to an increase in beta-pancreatic cells. Using Follistatin 344 in animal models led to an incredible rise in the life expectancy of the mice. It also led to a remarkable reduction in the incidence of diabetes-related micro or macrovascular complications.
3. Role in Breast Cancer
Researchers have studied the effects and levels of Follistatin in females with breast cancer. Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) checks the peptide levels. The results were primarily taken from females with under-expressed Follistatin, and it showed only a few had normal or higher levels of Follistatin. Researchers further noticed that higher levels of Follistatin were associated with a lower incidence of disease metastasis and better prognosis. On the contrary, scientists associate lower peptide levels with early metastasis and poor survival.
4. Effects on Esophageal and Liver Cancer
Barrett’s esophagus is a premalignant condition. It involves transforming cells in the lower esophagus from squamous to columnar type. Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) is the primary culprit behind the metaplasia of the esophagus. Frequent acid reflux leads to excessive activation of BMP and cancer development. Research suggests Follistatin counteracts the action of BMP and can prevent the development of esophageal cancer.
Liver fibrosis is a condition that predisposes to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Follistatin causes a significant improvement in the lifespan of liver cells (hepatocytes). It can also reduce the risk of liver fibrosis by 32%. This action leads to a reduction in the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. It can also have implications in conditions such as liver fibrosis secondary to fatty liver disease or alcohol abuse.
5. Additional Benefits
Some additional benefits of Follistatin 344 include:
● The use of Follistatin can lead to better eye development in the fetus.
● It can improve hair thickness and growth. Experts use it in the treatment of conditions such as male-pattern baldness.
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