P1: Muscle growth regulation

Subproject Speakers
Berlin:                Markus Schülke-Gerstenfeld, MD, Prof.
Paris / Versailles: Helge Amthor, MD, Prof.


In normal individuals, several signaling molecules of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) family, most notably myostatin, restrict the size of skeletal muscle. The precise function of myostatin remains unclear. We hypothesize that myostatin optimizes function and metabolism of skeletal muscle. Most previous work exploring the function of myostatin has been performed on constitutive myostatin knockout mice, which does not permit a differentiation between the prenatal or postnatal effect of myostatin deficiency. Moreover, up to date, the role of myostatin on muscle function and metabolism has only been explored in lack-of-function models. Our aim is to determine the function of myostatin on skeletal muscle physiology and metabolism in adult wildtype mice using gain-of-function and loss-of-function models. We will therefore be able judge the effect of myostatin modulation in the context of novel biotherapies and also in the context of a potential abuse for athletic "doping" purposes. To this end, we will directly compare the effect of myostatin induced muscle hypotrophy (treatment with recombinant myostatin) with the effect of myostatin blockade induced muscle hypertrophy (treatment with AAV myostatin propeptide). We will compare the effect on force generation, exercise capacity, oxidative muscle metabolism, muscle morphometry and cellular properties.



Gabriella Dias, MyoGrad doctoral student
Master, Biology of Ageing
Paris Descartes University, France

Working title
RNA splicing modulation strategies as therapeutic approaches for the treatment of neuromuscular disorders



Can Ding,
MyoGrad doctoral student 2011-2015

Completed doctoral project:
The influence of Notch over-stimulation on muscle stem quiescence versus proliferation, and on muscle regeneration 

Date and place of thesis defense:
November 6, 2015 in Berlin
Joint doctoral degree from UPMC, Paris 6 and from FU Berlin



Mina Petkova, MyoGrad doctoral student 2011-2016

Completed doctoral project:
Generation and characterization of a DmdEGFP reporter mouse as a tool to investigate dystrophin expression 

Date and place of thesis defense:
February 5, 2016 in Berlin
Joint doctoral degree from UPMC, Paris 6 and from FU Berlin





Ioanna Polydorou, MyoGrad doctoral student
Master, Science
University of Leeds, UK

Working title
Involvement of BMP signaling in neuromuscular disorders with skeletal muscle atrophy and arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC)




Amalia Stantzou, MyoGrad doctoral student 2011-2015

Completed doctoral project:

BMP-signaling controls postnatal muscle development

Date and place of thesis defense:
September 29, 2015 in Paris
Joint doctoral degree from UPMC, Paris 6 and from FU Berlin