BCM Logo Inhibiting a hormone seems to be beneficial for chronic kidney disease patients suffering from muscle loss. Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine assert that inhibiting the growth factor called myostatin in mice with chronic kidney disease halts muscle loss and decreases inflammation. Muscle wasting may be a common outcome of the disorder.

Experts mention that muscle wasting occurs when a system that targets proteins for degradation becomes activated. Mice with kidney disease were examined which suggested that muscles have high levels of myostatin. This growth factor apparently keeps the growth of muscle in balance. A humanized antibody was combined with peptides to test a peptibody. Both humanized antibody and peptides allegedly reduce the activity of myostatin. Experiments were conducted on two groups of mice with kidney disease. While one group received the peptibody, the other did not.

“Preventing muscle wasting would be helpful because studies show that people who have lost muscle mass are more likely to suffer disability and death,” enlightened Dr. William Mitch, professor of medicine and chief of the section of nephrology at BCM. “People with chronic kidney disease are often put on low protein diets to reduce the accumulation of waste products and hence, the stress on their failing organs. I was worried that we might be putting patients at risk for muscle wasting because we restricted the amount of protein in the diet. I decided to try to understand why kidney failure causes muscle wasting.”

As a result, improvement in muscle mass and increase in its synthesis was registered. Also the breakdown of muscle proteins was possibly suppressed. It reportedly reduced the amount of inflammation. Muscle cells were then exposed to tumor necrosis factor, a marker for inflammation. These exposed muscle cells seemingly had raised levels of myostatin. Once other muscle cells were treated with myostatin, increased levels of interleukin-6, a protein that stimulates the breakdown of muscle protein appeared.

The research was published in the FASEB Journal.