Scientific Publications



Follistatin and activin



Pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis



Liver fibrosis and diseases



Inflammatory diseases


Follistatin and activin

Robertson DM, Klein R, de Vos FL, McLachlan RI, Wettenhall REH, Hearn MTW, Burger HG & de Kretser DM (1987) The isolation of polypeptides with FSH suppressing activity from bovine follicular fluid which are structurally different to inhibin. Biochemical and biophysical research communications 149, 744-749.

The original description of follistatin, describing it as a regulator of the reproductive hormone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This article has been cited over 250 times in the scientific literature. view abstract

Nakamura T, Takio K, Eto Y, Shibai H, Titani K & Sugino H (1990) Activin-binding protein from rat ovary is follistatin.
Science 247, 836-838.

This foundation paper showed that follistatin is a high affinity binding protein for the growth factor, activin. view abstract

Inouye S, Guo Y, DePaolo L, Shimonaka M, Ling N & Shimasaki S (1991) Recombinant expression of human follistatin with 315 and 288 amino acids: chemical and biological comparison with native porcine follistatin. Endocrinology 129, 815-822.

This paper compares recombinant production of the two major isoforms of follistatin and their bioactivity in cell culture conditions and in vivo. view abstract

Matzuk MM, Lu N, Vogel H, Sellheyer K, Roop DR & Bradley A (1995) Multiple defects and perinatal death in mice deficient in follistatin. Nature 374, 360-363.

Knockout of the follistatin gene results in mice that die within 24 hours of birth because of severe defects during their development. view abstract

Phillips DJ & de Kretser DM (1998) Follistatin: a multifunctional regulatory protein. Frontiers in neuroendocrinology 19,

A comprehensive review of follistatin and its biology. view abstract

Phillips DJ (2005) Activins, inhibins and follistatins in the large domestic species. Domestic animal endocrinology 28, 1-16.

A basic review of activin, inhibin and follistatin in a number of cell systems. view abstract

Thompson TB, Lerch TF, Cook RW, Woodruff TK & Jardetzky TS (2005) The structure of the follistatin:activin complex reveals antagonism of both type I and type II receptor binding. Developmental cell 9, 535-543.

The crystal structure of a complex of activin and follistatin is described. view abstract

Lerch TF, Shimasaki S, Woodruff TK & Jardetzky TS (2007) Structural and biophysical coupling of heparin and activin binding to follistatin isoform functions. Journal of biological chemistry 282, 15930-15939.

Description of how the two follistatin isoforms bind to activin and neutralize its activity. view abstract

Kota J, Handy CR, Haidet, AM, Montgomery CL, Eagle A, Rodino-Klapac LR, Tucker D, Shilling CJ, Therlfall WR, Walker CM, Weisbrode SE, Janssen PML, Clark KR, Sahenk Z, Mendell JR & Kaspar BK (2009) Follistatin gene delivery enhances muscle growth and strength in nonhuman primates. Science translational medicine 1, 1-8.

Safety and tolerability of follistatin in a monkey model. view abstract

Pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis

Coward WR, Saini G & Jenkins G (2010) The pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Therapeutic advances in respiratory disease 4, 368-388.

A review of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and its pathologies. view abstract

Rowe SM, Miller S & Sorscher EJ (2005) Cystic fibrosis. The New England journal of medicine 352, 1992-2001.

A review of recent advances in cystic fibrosis. view abstract

O’Donnell DE, Aaron S, Bourbeau J, Hernandez P, Marciniuk DD, Balter M, Ford G, Gervais A, Goldstein R, Hodder R, et al. (2007) Canadian Thoracic Society recommendations for management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – 2007 update. Canadian respiratory journal 14, 5B-32B.

A comprehensive review of recent updates in the field of COPD. view abstract

Busse WW & Lemanske RF, Jr. (2001) Asthma. The New England journal of medicine 344, 350-362.

Review of asthma and related diseases. view abstract

Aoki F, Kurabayashi M, Hasegawa Y & Kojima I (2005) Attenuation of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis by follistatin.
American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 172, 713-720.

A key paper showing that follistatin reduces lung fibrosis in a well-accepted rat model. view abstract

Hardy CL, O’Connor AE, Yao J, Sebire K, de Kretser DM, Rolland JM, Anderson GP, Phillips DJ & O’Hehir RE (2006)
Follistatin is a candidate endogenous negative regulator of activin A in experimental allergic asthma. Clinical and experimental allergy 36, 941-950.

Use of follistatin to reduce inflammation and mucus cells in a mouse model of allergic asthma. view abstract

Hardy CL, LeMasurier JS, Olsson F, Dang T, Yao J, Yang M, Plebanski M, Phillips DJ, Mollard R, Rolland JM & O’Hehir RE (2010) Interleukin-13 regulates secretion of the tumor growth factor-superfamily cytokine activin A in allergic airway inflammation. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology 42, 667-675.

A study linking activin with one of the key cytokines upregulated in allergic airway inflammation. view abstract

Apostolou E, Stavropoulos A, Soutoulidis A, Xirakia C, Giaglis S, Protopapadakis E, Ritis K, Mentzelopoulos S, Pasternack A, Foster M, Ritvos O, Tzelepis GE, Andreakos E & Sideras P (2012) Activin-A over-expression in the murine lung causes pathology that stimulates Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 185, 382-391.

Activin is associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in the lung. view abstract

Liver fibrosis and diseases

Hernandez-Gea V & Friedman SL (2011) Pathogenesis of liver fibrosis. Annual review of pathology 6, 425-456.

A recent review of liver fibrosis by one of the authorities in the field. view abstract

Patella S, Phillips DJ, de Kretser DM, Evans LW, Groome NP & Sievert W (2001) Characterization of serum activin-A and follistatin and their relation to virological and histological determinants in chronic viral hepatitis. Journal of hepatology 34, 576-583.

Patients with viral hepatitis have altered activin levels in their blood. view abstract

Hughes RD & Evans LW (2003) Activin A and follistatin in acute liver failure. European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology 15, 127-131.

Activin and follistatin are elevated in the blood of patients with acute liver failure. view abstract

Patella S, Phillips DJ, Tchongue J, de Kretser DM & Sievert W (2006) Follistatin attenuates early liver fibrosis: effects on hepatic stellate cell activation and hepatocyte apoptosis. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology 290, G137-G144.

A key study showing that follistatin can reduce the development of liver fibrosis in a well-recognized rat model. view abstract

Lin SD, Kawakami T, Ushio A, Sato A, Sato S-i, Iwai M, Endo R, Takikawa Y & Suzuki K (2006) Ratio of circulating follistatin and activin A reflects the severity of acute liver injury and prognosis in patients with acute liver failure. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology 21, 374-380.

The ratio of activin to follistatin in blood is a marker of severity of acute liver failure. view abstract

Inflammatory diseases

Jones KL, Brauman JN, Groome NP, de Kretser DM & Phillips DJ (2000) Activin A release into the circulation is an early event in systemic inflammation and precedes the release of follistatin. Endocrinology 141, 1905-1908

The original article describing acute release of activin during systemic inflammation. view abstract

Gribi R, Tanaka T, Harper-Summers R & Yu J (2001) Expression of activin A in inflammatory arthropathies. Molecular and cellular endocrinology 180, 163-167.

Involvement of activin in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. view abstract

Michel U, Ebert S, Phillips D & Nau R (2003) Serum concentrations of activin and follistatin are elevated and run in parallel in patients with septicemia. European journal of endocrinology 148, 559-564.

Confirmation that the results in animal studies are consistent with clinical conditions such as septicemia. view abstract

Dohi T, Ejima C, Kato R, Kawamura YI, Kawashima R, Mizutani N, Tabuchi Y & Kojima I (2005) Therapeutic potential of follistatin for colonic inflammation in mice. Gastroenterology 128, 411-423.

Use of follistatin to reduce inflammatory bowel disease symptoms in three different mouse models. view abstract

Jones KL, Mansell A, Patella S, Scott BJ, Hedger MP, de Kretser DM & Phillips DJ (2007) Activin A is a critical component of the inflammatory response, and its binding protein, follistatin, reduces mortality in endotoxemia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104, 16239-16244

A key paper showing that follistatin can modify inflammation pathways and reduce mortality in severe inflammation. view abstract

Phillips DJ, de Kretser DM & Hedger MP (2009) Activin and related proteins in inflammation: not just interested bystanders. Cytokine & growth factor reviews 20, 153-164.

A recent review on the involvement of activin and follistatin in diverse inflammatory conditions. view abstract

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