Erythropoietin reduces the expression of myostatin in mdx dystrophic mice

D Feder, M Rugollini, A Santomauro, L P Oliveira, V P Lioi, R dos Santos, L G Ferreira, M T Nunes, M H Carvalho, P O Delgado, A A S Carvalho, F L A Fonseca

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Erythropoietin (EPO) has been well characterized as a renal glycoprotein hormone regulating red blood cell production by inhibiting apoptosis of erythrocyte progenitors in hematopoietic tissues. EPO exerts regulatory effects in cardiac and skeletal muscles. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal degenerative disorder of skeletal and cardiac muscle. In this study, we tested the possible therapeutic beneficial effect of recombinant EPO (rhEPO) in dystrophic muscles in mdx mice. Total strength was measured using a force transducer coupled to a computer. Gene expression for myostatin, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was determined by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. Myostatin expression was significantly decreased in quadriceps from mdx mice treated with rhEPO (rhEPO = 0.60 ± 0.11, control = 1.07 ± 0.11). On the other hand, rhEPO had no significant effect on the expression of TGF-β1 (rhEPO = 0.95 ± 0.14, control = 1.05 ± 0.16) and TNF-α (rhEPO = 0.73 ± 0.20, control = 1.01 ± 0.09). These results may help to clarify some of the direct actions of EPO on skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-971
Number of pages6
JournalBrazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas
Issue number11
Early online date5 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Down-Regulation/drug effects
  • Dystrophin/deficiency
  • Erythropoietin/therapeutic use
  • Gene Expression/drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred mdx
  • Muscle Strength/drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne/drug therapy
  • Myostatin/genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recombinant Proteins/therapeutic use
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1/genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics


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