Serum Myostatin Levels are Elevated in Overweight Patients

Hui J. Zhu#, Hong B. Yang#, Xiang Q. Wang, Hui Pan, Dian X. Zhang, Nai S. Li, Lin J. Wang, Feng Y. Gong*
Department of Endocrinology, Key Laboratory of Endocrinology of Ministry of Health, The Translational Medicine Center of PUMCH, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

© 2014 Zhu et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Endocrinology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, 1# Shuaifuyuan, Wangfujing, Beijing, 100730, China; Tel: 86 10 69155100; Fax: 86 10 69155073; E-mails:,
These authors contribute equally



Myostatin has recently been proposed as an important factor that not only regulates skeletal muscle mass, but also body fat mass. The aim of our study is to explore serum myostatin levels in overweight patients and its association with metabolic-related characteristics.


40 overweight patients and 40 normal weight controls were recruited, and serum myostatin were measured by ELISA methods and the relationships between myostatin and metabolic-related parameters were investigated.


Serum myostatin concentrations were significantly increased in overweight patients compared with normal weight controls (10.99±1.99 vs. 9.75±0.96 ng/ml, P=0.001) and positively correlated with body weight (r = 0.272, P=0.015), BMI (r = 0.263, P=0.018), waist circumference (r = 0.291, P=0.009), hip circumference (r = 0.336, P=0.002) and TNF-α (r = 0.611, P<0.001) in all subjects. Contrarily, serum adiponectin levels were negatively associated with body weight (r = -0.270, P=0.018), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (r = -0.253, P=0.027), TG (r = -0.235, P=0.040), ALT (r = -0.268, P=0.019), uric acid (UA) (r = -0.262, P=0.021) and positively correlated with HDL (r = 0.454, P<0.001).


Serum myostatin levels in overweight patients are notably increased and positively correlated with BMI, body weight, waist and hip circumference, TNF-α, suggesting myostatin is a metabolic regulatory factor.

Keywords: Adiponectin, myostatin, overweight, TNF-α.