Growth factor seen to reverse loss of muscle from aging, disease

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May be effective and safe means of stimulating muscle growth

Previous work by Nadia Rosenthal of Harvard Medical School and her colleagues showed that injection of a virus directing the expression of a molecule known as insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) into a skeletal muscle resulted in a much larger and stronger muscle. Now research described by Rosenthal and colleagues illustrates that the effect of IGF-I that they had previously seen “holds up in context of the whole body,” Rosenthal says. Rosenthal and her collaborator, Antonio Musaro at the University of Rome, are currently interested in understanding the signal transduction pathways that allow IGF-I to trigger such dramatic changes in muscle and the effects of IGF-I in animal models of muscular dystrophy.