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In 1997, for the first time, the growth and development factor “Myostatin” was described by scientists Alexandra McPherron, Se-Jin Lee and Ravi Kambadurder from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. Myostatin is a protein that is formed in the human or animal body. It inhibits muscle growth, so the muscles do not grow without controll.

A series of experiments with mice, in which the genetics was manipulated in such a way that myostatin was missing, led to a massive increase in the muscle mass of the animals. The mice were known as “Mighty Mice”.
Shortly afterwards, two cattle races (Blue-White Belgians, Blanc Bluebelts, Belgian Blue Cattle and Piedmontese) were known, which were extremely muscular. Myostatin disorder was the reason.

In 2004, a mutation of the myostatin gene was detected in a German boy, which resulted in the formation of a shortened and thus not fully functional myostatin protein. The boy has been muscular since birth.

Although it is possible to antagonize myostatin protein in mice, more or less successfully, which is a first step towards gene doping, however, it is still a long way to use myostatin for gene doping purposes in humans.

Compared to gene doping with myostatin, there are conventional therapeutic approaches that have already been successful in the animal experiment by directly blocking the natural myostatin effect. The goal is to be able to treat muscle degenerative diseases one day. An antibody name MYO-029 (Stamulumab), which inhibits natural myostatin, has been tested in a clinical trial. Although this had not been a significant success, a more targeted inhibitor might have a better effect.

Black market prices / availability:

There are no myostatin inhibitors. (As of 10/2008)


There are no myostatin inhibitors. (As of 10/2008)


Growth / differentiation factor-8, GDF-8, GDF8, myostatins

Trade Name / Manufacturer:

[Not available]

Chemical / biological information:

Molecular Formula:
Molecular weight: 25.0 kDa