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Health Agencies Update
June 23/30, 2004

Stimulating Muscle Growth

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2933. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2933-e

Researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, in Bethesda, Md, have helped discover a mechanism by which a group of chemicals called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors promote the growth and regeneration of adult skeletal muscle cells (Dev Cell. 2004;6:673-684).

The effect is the result of an increase in the expression of follistatin, a glycoprotein originally discovered in gonadal extracts that is thought to regulate growth and/or differentiate in many cell types. The authors suggest that the finding may be helpful in the development of drugs for muscular dystrophies and other conditions. HDAC inhibitors are currently in clinical development as a potential cancer therapy.

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