Atricle + picture of the myostatin deficient german boy, excellent info
- 04-09-2006, 02:52 PM
Atricle + picture of the myostatin deficient german boy, excellent info
BOSTON - Somewhere in Germany is a baby Superman, born in Berlin with bulging arm and leg muscles. Not yet 5, he can hold seven-pound weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat.
DNA testing showed why: The boy has a genetic mutation that boosts muscle growth.
The discovery, reported in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, represents the first documented human case of such a mutation. Many scientists believe the find could eventually lead to drugs for treating people with muscular dystrophy and other muscle-destroying conditions. And athletes would almost surely want to get their hands on such a drug and use it like steroids to bulk up.
The boy’s mutant DNA segment was found to block production of a protein called myostatin that limits muscle growth. The news comes seven years after researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore created buff “mighty mice” by “turning off” the gene that directs cells to produce myostatin.
“Now we can say that myostatin acts the same way in humans as in animals,” said the boy’s physician, Dr. Markus Schuelke, a professor in the child neurology department at Charite/University Medical Center Berlin. “We can apply that knowledge to humans, including trial therapies for muscular dystrophy.”
Given the huge potential market for such drugs, researchers at universities and pharmaceutical companies already are trying to find a way to limit the amount and activity of myostatin in the body. Wyeth has just begun human tests of a genetically engineered antibody designed to neutralize myostatin.
Dr. Lou Kunkel, director of the genomics program at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics and genetics at Harvard Medical School, said success is possible within several years.
“Just decreasing this protein by 20, 30, 50 percent can have a profound effect on muscle bulk,” said Kunkel, who is among the doctors participating in the Wyeth research.
Slow wasting process
Muscular dystrophy is the world’s most common genetic disease. There is no cure and the most common form, Duchenne’s, usually kills before adulthood. The few treatments being tried to slow its progression have serious side effects.
Muscle wasting also is common in the elderly and patients with diseases such as cancer and AIDS.
“If you could find a way to block myostatin activity, you might slow the wasting process,” said Dr. Se-Jin Lee, the Johns Hopkins professor whose team created the “mighty mice.”
Lee said he believes a myostatin blocker also could suppress fat accumulation and thus thwart the development of diabetes. Lee and Johns Hopkins would receive royalties for any myostatin-blocking drug made by Wyeth.
Dr. Eric Hoffman, director of Children’s National Medical Center’s Research Center for Genetic Medicine, said he believes a muscular dystrophy cure will be found, but he is unsure whether it will be a myostatin-blocking drug, another treatment or a combination, because about a dozen genes have some effect on muscles.
He said a mystotatin-blocking drug could help other groups of people, including astronauts and others who lose muscle mass during long stints in zero gravity or when immobilized by illness or a broken limb.
Eventual health problems?
Researchers would not disclose the German boy’s identity but said he was born to a somewhat muscular mother, a 24-year-old former professional sprinter. Her brother and three other close male relatives all were unusually strong, with one of them a construction worker able to unload heavy curbstones by hand.
In the mother, one copy of the gene is mutated and the other is normal; the boy has two mutated copies. One almost definitely came from his father, but no information about him has been disclosed. The mutation is very rare in people.
The boy is healthy now, but doctors worry he could eventually suffer heart or other health problems.
In the past few years, scientists have seen great potential in myostatin-blocking strategies.
Internet marketers have been hawking “myostatin-blocking” supplements to bodybuilders, though doctors say the products are useless and perhaps dangerous.
Some researchers are trying to turn off the myostatin gene in chickens to produce more meat per bird. And several breeds of cattle have natural variations in the gene that, aided by selective breeding, give them far more muscle and less fat than other steer.
- 04-11-2006, 07:23 PM
04-11-2006, 08:39 PM
04-11-2006, 11:34 PM
04-11-2006, 11:44 PM
Hence the post above saying if it doesn't have any adverse side effects.Originally Posted by Reggin
04-12-2006, 04:52 PM
if there end up being no long term adverse side effects, especially in regards to the heart, this could mean a new wave of purposely myostatin deficient monster bodybuilders.Originally Posted by snakebyte05
04-12-2006, 05:24 PM
Not just bodybuilding, but think of all sports. Think of what it could mean for sports like football. Think of military applications. Assuming the extra muscle mass didn't make him slow he could carry more gear in his pack or heavier weapons.
04-12-2006, 06:02 PM
It really depends on the heart. I doubt there are any studies but I wonder if the myostatin gene effects all types of muscle tissue.
Myostatin blockers and other gene manipulation drugs are the next wave of sports enhancing drugs. AAS will be laughed at one day, mark my words.
04-12-2006, 08:13 PM
04-12-2006, 09:14 PM
Yeh and that article is 2 years old, and that pic is nearly 6 years old. I wanna see pix of that boy TODAY at age 6...
04-13-2006, 12:23 AM
Agreed, there's just so much $$$ to be made in sports that there will always be a search for more potent drugs.Originally Posted by jminis
04-13-2006, 12:28 AM
This is a link to a clinical trial on testing a anti-myostatin antibody (myo-029 developed by Wyeth) on muscular dystrophy patients. It will be interesting to see the trial results late in the year.
04-13-2006, 03:24 AM
Indeed but we are probably still about 50 years away from that day. While the market may seem to move fast, innovation won't be as quick.Originally Posted by Grunt76
Hopefully I'll be alive to see some of this amazing stuff.
04-13-2006, 10:00 AM
04-13-2006, 10:11 AM
Well if someone is courageous and rich enough, you can actually buy polyclonal myostatin antibody...
04-13-2006, 02:38 PM
i also just read an article from a medical journal (british i believe?) about this boy with a line in it stating a possible different myostatin system for the heart and other tissues. i will try to find and post it.
i am confident the questions will not go on much longer as i believe that if the product is out there and legit....someone will eventually have the balls to try it, for better or for worse.
does anyone know if the L.i.f.e. science myostatin polyclonal antibody could possibly be legit this early in the game?
04-13-2006, 02:55 PM
"Since myostatin is also expressed in the
heart we have closely monitored our patient’s
cardiac function but have not yet detected any signs
of cardiomyopathy or a conduction disturbance.
However, at 4.5 years of age, our patient is still too
young for such abnormalities to be ruled out definitively.
Our results suggest the possibility that
muscle bulk and strength could be therapeutically
increased by the inactivation of myostatin in patients
with muscle-wasting conditions."
not the article i was looking for, but adresses the child's heart function at least. seems to be doing alright at the moment, although only time will tell.
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