Hormone therapy and maximal eccentric exercise alters myostatin-related gene expression in postmenopausal women.


Dieli-Conwright CM, Spektor TM, Rice JC, Sattler FR, Schroeder ET. Hormone therapy and maximal eccentric exercise alters myostatin-related gene expression in postmenopausal women. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 May; 26(5):1374-82.

We sought to evaluate baseline mRNA values and changes in gene expression of myostatin-related factors in postmenopausal women taking hormone therapy (HT) and not taking HT after eccentric exercise. Fourteen postmenopausal women participated including 6 controls not using HT (59 ± 4 years, 63 ± 17 kg) and 8 women using HT (59 ± 4 years, 89 ± 24 kg). The participants performed 10 sets of 10 maximal eccentric repetitions of single-leg extension on a dynamometer. Muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were obtained from the exercised leg at baseline and 4 hours after the exercise bout. Gene expression was determined using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for myostatin, activin receptor IIb (ActRIIb), follistatin, follistatin-related gene (FLRG), follistatin-like-3 (FSTL3), and GDF serum-associated protein-1 (GASP-1). In response to the exercise bout, myostatin and ActRIIb significantly decreased (p < 0.05), and follistatin, FLRG, FSTL3, and GASP-1 significantly increased in both groups (p < 0.05). Significantly greater changes in gene expression of all genes occurred in the HT group than in the control group after the acute eccentric exercise bout (p < 0.05). These data suggest that postmenopausal women using HT express greater myostatin-related gene expression, which may reflect a mechanism by which estrogen influences the preservation of muscle mass. Further, postmenopausal women using HT experienced a profoundly greater myostatin-related response to maximal eccentric exercise.