Last Updated: April 29, 2017

Follistatin is a molecule that suppresses three protein messengers in the body, one of which is Myostatin; by inhibiting Myostatin's inhibition of protein synthesis, follistatin may increase muscle mass. It may get affected by exercise and diet, but is understudied.

examine-databaseExamine Database

Follistatin is a negative regulatory protein. It works to regulate the body by suppressing the actions of other proteins and hormones.

When overexpressed, it can cause excessive suppression of these proteins. One of these proteins, Myostatin, is itself a negative regulatory of muscle protein synthesis. Thus, increases in follistatin expression indirectly promote muscle protein synthesis by eliminating a 'lock' on protein synthesis.

Follistatin overexposure (typically though injections) mimics myostatin deficiency, which is colloquially known as 'double muscling' and is the cause of hypermuscularity seen in Belgian Blue Cattle.

Follistatin also has interactions with reproductive health, and may have far-reaching effects due to its suppression of proteins that are not myostatin; namely Activins.

Examine Database: Follistatin
What works and what doesn't?

Unlock the full potential of Examine

Get started

Don't miss out on the latest research

  1. ^Phillips DJ, de Kretser DMFollistatin: a multifunctional regulatory proteinFront Neuroendocrinol.(1998 Oct)
  2. ^Amthor H, Nicholas G, McKinnell I, Kemp CF, Sharma M, Kambadur R, Patel KFollistatin complexes Myostatin and antagonises Myostatin-mediated inhibition of myogenesisDev Biol.(2004 Jun 1)
  3. ^Zhu X, Topouzis S, Liang LF, Stotish RLMyostatin signaling through Smad2, Smad3 and Smad4 is regulated by the inhibitory Smad7 by a negative feedback mechanismCytokine.(2004 Jun 21)
  4. ^Gamer LW, Cox KA, Small C, Rosen VGdf11 is a negative regulator of chondrogenesis and myogenesis in the developing chick limbDev Biol.(2001 Jan 15)
  5. ^Tsuchida KActivins, myostatin and related TGF-beta family members as novel therapeutic targets for endocrine, metabolic and immune disordersCurr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord.(2004 Jun)
  6. ^Follistatin induces muscle hypertrophy through satellite cell proliferation and inhibition of both myostatin and activin
  7. ^McPherron AC, Huynh TV, Lee SJRedundancy of myostatin and growth/differentiation factor 11 functionBMC Dev Biol.(2009 Mar 19)
  8. ^Intraovarian Activins Are Required for Female Fertility
  9. ^Molecular heterogeneity of follistatin, an activin-binding protein. Higher affinity of the carboxyl-terminal truncated forms for heparan sulfate proteoglycans on the ovarian granulosa cell
  10. ^Khoury RH, Wang QF, Crowley WF Jr, Hall JE, Schneyer AL, Toth T, Midgley AR Jr, Sluss PMSerum follistatin levels in women: evidence against an endocrine function of ovarian follistatinJ Clin Endocrinol Metab.(1995 Apr)
  11. ^Hurwitz JM, Santoro NInhibins, activins, and follistatin in the aging female and maleSemin Reprod Med.(2004 Aug)
  12. ^Influence of hormone replacement therapy on eccentric exercise induced myogenic gene expression in postmenopausal women
  13. ^Anderson RA, Evans LW, Irvine DS, McIntyre MA, Groome NP, Riley SCFollistatin and activin A production by the male reproductive tractHum Reprod.(1998 Dec)
  14. ^Muttukrishna S, Farouk A, Sharma S, Evans L, Groome N, Ledger W, Sathanandan MSerum activin A and follistatin in disorders of spermatogenesis in menEur J Endocrinol.(2001 Apr)
  15. ^Lee SJRegulation of muscle mass by myostatinAnnu Rev Cell Dev Biol.(2004)
  16. ^Regulation of myostatin activity and muscle growth
  17. ^Lee SJQuadrupling muscle mass in mice by targeting TGF-beta signaling pathwaysPLoS One.(2007 Aug 29)
  18. ^Long-term enhancement of skeletal muscle mass and strength by single gene administration of myostatin inhibitors
  19. ^Hansen J, Brandt C, Nielsen AR, Hojman P, Whitham M, Febbraio MA, Pedersen BK, Plomgaard PExercise induces a marked increase in plasma follistatin: evidence that follistatin is a contraction-induced hepatokineEndocrinology.(2011 Jan)
  20. ^Lee SJ, McPherron ACRegulation of myostatin activity and muscle growthProc Natl Acad Sci U S A.(2001 Jul 31)
  21. ^Nakatani M, Takehara Y, Sugino H, Matsumoto M, Hashimoto O, Hasegawa Y, Murakami T, Uezumi A, Takeda S, Noji S, Sunada Y, Tsuchida KTransgenic expression of a myostatin inhibitor derived from follistatin increases skeletal muscle mass and ameliorates dystrophic pathology in mdx miceFASEB J.(2008 Feb)
  22. ^Nakatani M, Kokubo M, Ohsawa Y, Sunada Y, Tsuchida KFollistatin-derived peptide expression in muscle decreases adipose tissue mass and prevents hepatic steatosisAm J Physiol Endocrinol Metab.(2011 Mar)
  23. ^McPherron AC, Lee SJSuppression of body fat accumulation in myostatin-deficient miceJ Clin Invest.(2002 Mar)
  24. ^Hamrick MW, Pennington C, Webb CN, Isales CMResistance to body fat gain in 'double-muscled' mice fed a high-fat dietInt J Obes (Lond).(2006 May)
  25. ^Grobet L, Martin LJ, Poncelet D, Pirottin D, Brouwers B, Riquet J, Schoeberlein A, Dunner S, Ménissier F, Massabanda J, Fries R, Hanset R, Georges MA deletion in the bovine myostatin gene causes the double-muscled phenotype in cattleNat Genet.(1997 Sep)
  26. ^Grobet L, Poncelet D, Royo LJ, Brouwers B, Pirottin D, Michaux C, Ménissier F, Zanotti M, Dunner S, Georges MMolecular definition of an allelic series of mutations disrupting the myostatin function and causing double-muscling in cattleMamm Genome.(1998 Mar)
  27. ^Mosher DS, Quignon P, Bustamante CD, Sutter NB, Mellersh CS, Parker HG, Ostrander EAA mutation in the myostatin gene increases muscle mass and enhances racing performance in heterozygote dogsPLoS Genet.(2007 May 25)
  28. ^Clop A, Marcq F, Takeda H, Pirottin D, Tordoir X, Bibé B, Bouix J, Caiment F, Elsen JM, Eychenne F, Larzul C, Laville E, Meish F, Milenkovic D, Tobin J, Charlier C, Georges MA mutation creating a potential illegitimate microRNA target site in the myostatin gene affects muscularity in sheepNat Genet.(2006 Jul)
  29. ^Schuelke M, Wagner KR, Stolz LE, Hübner C, Riebel T, Kömen W, Braun T, Tobin JF, Lee SJMyostatin mutation associated with gross muscle hypertrophy in a childN Engl J Med.(2004 Jun 24)
  30. ^Follistatin Gene Delivery Enhances Muscle Growth and Strength in Nonhuman Primates
  31. ^Jensky NE, Sims JK, Rice JC, Dreyer HC, Schroeder ETThe influence of eccentric exercise on mRNA expression of skeletal muscle regulatorsEur J Appl Physiol.(2007 Nov)
  32. ^Hiroki E, Abe S, Iwanuma O, Sakiyama K, Yanagisawa N, Shiozaki K, Ide YA comparative study of myostatin, follistatin and decorin expression in muscle of different originAnat Sci Int.(2011 Sep)
  33. ^Vamvini MT, Aronis KN, Chamberland JP, Mantzoros CSEnergy deprivation alters in a leptin- and cortisol-independent manner circulating levels of activin A and follistatin but not myostatin in healthy malesJ Clin Endocrinol Metab.(2011 Nov)
  34. ^Zimber MP, Ziering C, Zeigler F, Hubka M, Mansbridge JN, Baumgartner M, Hubka K, Kellar R, Perez-Meza D, Sadick N, Naughton GKHair regrowth following a Wnt- and follistatin containing treatment: safety and efficacy in a first-in-man phase 1 clinical trialJ Drugs Dermatol.(2011 Nov 1)
Examine Database References
  1. Spirulina - Reza Bagheri, Raoof Negaresh, Mohamad S Motevalli, Alexei Wong, Damoon Ashtary-Larky, Mehdi Kargarfard, Amir RashidlamirSpirulina supplementation during gradual weight loss in competitive wrestlersBr J Nutr.(2021 Mar 15)