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J Frailty Aging. 2018;7(1):21-27. doi: 10.14283/jfa.2017.33.

The Vicious Cycle of Myostatin Signaling in Sarcopenic Obesity: Myostatin Role in Skeletal Muscle Growth, Insulin Signaling and Implications for Clinical Trials.

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Leslie Consitt, PhD, Department of Biomedical Sciences, 228 Irvine Hall, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, 45701, Email:, Phone: 740-593-2404, Fax: 740-597-2778.


The age-related loss of skeletal muscle (sarcopenia) is a major health concern as it is associated with physical disability, metabolic impairments, and increased mortality. The coexistence of sarcopenia with obesity, termed 'sarcopenic obesity', contributes to skeletal muscle insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes, a disease prevalent with advancing age. Despite this knowledge, the mechanisms contributing to sarcopenic obesity remain poorly understood, preventing the development of targeted therapeutics. This article will discuss the clinical and physiological consequences of sarcopenic obesity and propose myostatin as a potential candidate contributing to this condition. A special emphasis will be placed on examining the role of myostatin signaling in impairing both skeletal muscle growth and insulin signaling. In addition, the role of myostatin in regulating muscle-to fat cross talk, further exacerbating metabolic dysfunction in the elderly, will be highlighted. Lastly, we discuss how this knowledge has implications for the design of myostatin-inhibitor clinical trials.


Aging; atrophy; insulin resistance; muscle wasting; sarcopenia

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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