Nat Med 2007 Feb 21;13(2):204-10. Epub 2007 Jan 21.
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
Skeletal muscle has the ability to achieve rapid repair in response to injury or disease. Many individuals with Marfan syndrome (MFS), caused by a deficiency of extracellular fibrillin-1, exhibit myopathy and often are unable to increase muscle mass despite physical exercise. Evidence suggests that selected manifestations of MFS reflect excessive signaling by transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta (refs. 2,3). TGF-beta is a known inhibitor of terminal differentiation of cultured myoblasts; however, the functional contribution of TGF-beta signaling to disease pathogenesis in various inherited myopathic states in vivo remains unknown. Here we show that increased TGF-beta activity leads to failed muscle regeneration in fibrillin-1-deficient mice. Systemic antagonism of TGF-beta through administration of TGF-beta-neutralizing antibody or the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker losartan normalizes muscle architecture, repair and function in vivo. Moreover, we show TGF-beta-induced failure of muscle regeneration and a similar therapeutic response in a dystrophin-deficient mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.