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.
Hampton T. Stimulating Muscle Growth. JAMA. 2004;291(24):2933. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2933-e