PGC-1 alpha-4 Spurs Muscle Growth

Researchers have found a number of potential ways to spur growth of muscle tissue, and some of these might be used in attempts to fend off the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging - not by fixing the root causes, but by trying to compensate through another mechanism. Here is a recent example:

The protein is an isoform, or slight variant, of PGC-1 alpha, an important regulatory of body metabolism that is turned on by forms of exercise, such as running, that increase muscular endurance rather than size. [A rise in] PGC-1 alpha-4 with exercise increases activity of a protein called IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which facilitates muscle growth. At the same time, PGC-1 alpha-4 also represses another protein, myostatin, which normally restricts muscle growth. In effect, PGC-1 alpha-4 presses the accelerator and removes the brake to enable exercised muscles to gain mass and strength.

Several experiments demonstrated the muscle-enhancing effects of the novel protein. The investigators used virus carriers to insert PGC-1 alpha-4 into the leg muscle of mice and found that within several days their muscle fibers were 60 percent bigger compared to untreated mice. They also engineered mice to have more PGC-1 alpha-4 in their muscles than normal mice who were not exercising. Tests showed that the treated mice were 20 percent stronger and more resistant to fatigue than the controls; in addition, they were leaner than their normal counterparts.



Can humans take this drug to improve muscle strength in tablet Form?

Posted by: Lorie Pietz at December 7th, 2012 2:13 PM

@Lorie Pietz: It isn't a drug, it's a protein - a part of the machinery of metabolism. Researchers may try to develop a drug that increases its levels in the body, but in the studies noted above that goal was accomplished via genetic engineering.

Posted by: Reason at December 7th, 2012 4:09 PM

Why not just take 'roids? The side effects are benign if you are post-reproduktion

Posted by: Johannes at December 9th, 2012 7:39 PM

I do see the potential use of these supplements in body building, although negative effects of the drug still have to be properly investigated. Primary the drug will be used as a therapeutic basis for people with cancer or other long term illnesses.

@ Johannes i would like to say, please look up the dangers of steroids. anabolic steroids are very similar to the human testosterone hormone. And fooling around with the hormone balance in a body is not very smart to do. Using anabolic steroids doesn't only make you sterile but they can also dramatically effect the skin and heart muscle leading to acne, an oily skin, larger chances on liver diseases and cancer and lead to enlarged heart muscle and heart attacks. and besides this mood swings, high cholesterol, development of breast and becomming bald are also very common.

So please do not advise people to take something that is illegal for a reason, it can screw up your entire body balance and should not be recommended. If you use it yourself i would say, try to understand the danger and stop.

Posted by: Eric at December 10th, 2012 5:13 AM

I realize this is rather off-topic, but the proper USE of the Anabolic Steroids (vice misuse or abuse) can be powerfully beneficial...most of the bad side effects usually quoted, are phony hype, by people who don't really know a damn thing about these drugs...

Please forgive this digression...

Posted by: Robert E. Yorke at December 11th, 2012 8:06 PM
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