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Follistatin is a protein-sugar hybrid called a glycoprotein, produced by the liver, it is found everywhere in the body.

It is of great interest to performance enhancers and longevity scientists because of its role in increasing muscle tissue in response to any muscle damage, and basically promotes cell growth throughout the body.

There are many forms of Follistatin, 344, 315, 288, 300. Follistatin 344 is the most basic form, and it is the one currently studied in gene therapy. Follistatin 344 can be converted into more specific types to target different parts of the body.

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“Muscle Growth Happens Independent of Myostatin Expression

Follistatin-mediated skeletal muscle hypertrophy is regulated by Smad3 and mTOR independently of myostatin

This is the first demonstration that a single-dose, postnatal administration of an rAAV vector designed to express Fst-288 promotes dramatic and sustained increases in skeletal muscle mass and strength. Importantly, we show that although the hypertrophic response to Fst-288 utilizes, but does not entirely depend upon, activation of mTOR and S6 protein kinases to promote protein anabolism, Smad3 is the critical intermediary that regulates mTOR signaling in response to Fst. In addition, importantly, its forced expression dramatically reduces growth induced by Fst. We also show that the control of these signaling mechanisms and resultant muscle growth caused by Fst occurs independent of myostatin expression, thus identifying key mechanisms by which Fst regulates skeletal muscle growth in vivo.

“IMPORTANT, UNLESS I AM WRONGL Follistatin 344 seem to be required to be delivered by gene vector therapy.

Follistatin Gene Delivery Enhances Muscle Growth and Strength in Nonhuman Primates

In this study, therapy with an isoform of human follistatin delivered by an AAV1 vector to quadriceps muscle in cynomolgus macaques resulted in increased muscle size and strength. Expression of the transgene, FS344 complementary DNA (cDNA), which encodes the soluble circulating 315–amino acid follistatin protein isoform (35), affected skeletal muscle exclusively; the likelihood of an effect on non-muscle tissue is low, owing to the poor affinity of the FS344 product for heparan sulfate proteoglycan–binding sites on cell surfaces (36). We did not observe any treatment-related pathologic changes in major organ systems by analysis of serum chemistries or by direct histologic examination. Our results also indicate that AAV1-FS344 treatment does not appear to interfere with reproductive physiology in primates, as serum estradiol, testosterone, LH, and FSH concentrations remained similar to baseline throughout the study. The FS344 transgene exhibited long-term expression for up to 15 months after gene transfer. Muscle growth was apparent in both the MCK-FS and the CMV-FS groups for the first 12 weeks after treatment, after which the growth rates appeared to stabilize. This result suggests that, after a peak increase in growth, a feedback loop sustains the enlarged muscle fibers while preventing uncontrolled growth. This model is consistent with observations of spontaneous myostatin inhibition seen in cattle or in mice lacking the myostatin gene (18, 37). The CMV-FS had the largest effect on muscle size, which suggests that dosage of follistatin is important and that the CMV promoter is superior to the MCK promoter for high-level expression of transgenes in the muscle.

Follistatin's Relation to Myostatin. How Do They Increase Muscle Mass?

Follistatin is a probable antagonist to Myostatin. Myostatin also known as GDF-8 inhibits excessive muscle growth.

Latest gene therapy research is focused on either genetic elimination by knock out of Myostatin or increasing the amount of Follistatin expressed. Both of which have the goal of increasing muscle mass. (R) (R).

Follistatin is not the sole molecule in growth, it is part of a very complicated a vast system, scientists are only beginning to understand.

Described as early as 1987, it is a follicle-stimulating hormone inhibiting substance present in ovaries. Follistatin in fact binds to Activin, counterbalancing Activins mitogenic effect on vascular smooth muscle cells.

Follistatin injected into muscle have been found to create hypertrophy (growth) of muscle.


Follistatin 344 in Body Building Communities

Injecting it directly is not the same as using a gene vector, which means you need to constantly inject it into the muscle to cause the effects of Follistatin.

This is used in the body building community in powdered form which has to be reconstituted.

Injecting Follistatin directly is DIFFERENT to the research in it as a vector in gene therapy.

It is likely that the growth effects of Follistatin will be lost once the daily injection ceases.

In general body builders in their quest to avoid the side effects of Anabolic Steroids are willing to test out injecting peptide proteins like Follistatin or IGF-1.

The continued sales of these products, suggest that they do work in humans. Follistatin 344 anywhere from 100 to 300 mg. With 10 day cycles.

Human grade Follistatin 344 is very expensive, so it's generally not worth it.

To top it off there are NO studies of injecting Follistatin 344 in humans or even primates, only rodents.

If you are looking to add muscles, there are a plenthora of alternatives, including some tried and tested injectable peptides with more research than Follistatin 344.

The more interesting research is actually in the gene therapy, and that involves DIY bio and knocking out your own Myostatin gene (the protein that prevents excessive muscle being building up). Commercial sales of such technology is pretty far away, as they have not even been allowed to be tested through the FDA or other authorities yet. Inhibiting all your Myostatin gene expression could also have fatal consequences if the gene knockout affects vital muscles like your heart, where excess muscles could be dangerous.

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