|Many of the markers Ansh Labs develops are novel and very early in their lifecycle. There is a growing body of research that supports clinical diagnostic utility for the assays we have developed, and there is exciting putative research involving the biomarkers that are in our research and development pipeline. Some of the assays are still so new that they may not be recognized by select regulatory bodies as clinical in vitro diagnostic assays at the present time.|
|Follistatin is an autocrine glycoprotein that is expressed in nearly all tissues of higher animals. Its primary function is the binding and bioneutralization of members of the TGF-β superfamily, with a particular focus on activin, a paracrine hormone.Follistatin interests us because there are multiple interesting areas in which it is being researched: Muscle Growth, Inflammation/wound healing, folliculogenesis, PCOS, Cancer.|
|Muscle Growth- Follistatin is being studied for its role in regulation of muscle growth in mice, as an antagonist to myostatin (GDF-8) which inhibits excessive muscle growth. Lee & McPherron demonstrated that inhibition of GDF-8, either by genetic elimination (knockout mice) or by increasing the amount of follistatin, resulted in greatly increased muscle mass which may have applications for promoting muscle growth in human disease settings as well as in livestock animals.
Inflammation and Wound Healing – In tissues activin has a strong role in cellular proliferation, thereby making follistatin the safeguard against uncontrolled cellular proliferation and also allowing it to function as an instrument of cellular differentiation. Both of these roles are vital in tissue rebuilding and repair, and may account for follistatin’s high presence in the skin. In the blood, activin and follistatin are both known to be involved in the inflammatory response following tissue injury or pathogenic incursion. The source of follistatin in circulating blood plasma has yet to be determined, but due to its autocrine nature speculation suggests the endothelial cells lining all blood vessels, or the macrophages and monocytes also circulating within the whole blood, may be sources.
Folliculogenesis- A major role of follistatin is the binding and biological neutralization of activins and other members of the TGF-Beta superfamily of hormones. In folliculogenesis, follistatin regulating activity appears to be important for the progression of the follicle from early antral to antral/dominant phase, and Follistatin regulates granulosa cell function resulting in luteinization or atresia by promoting the differentiation of the estrogen-producing granulosa cells of the dominant follicle into the progesterone-producing large lutein cells of the corpus luteum.
PCOS – Eldar-Geva et al reports that since Follistatin neutralizes Activin bioactivity, a decrease in the ratio of Activin to Follistatin could encourage characteristic features of PCOS. However, there is debate as to its direct role with PCOS and more research is needed.
Cancer – More recent research suggests that Follistatin may have a role in prostate cancer progression and ovarian cancer particularly when combined with CA-125 to reduce false positive results.
Wikipedia contributors. “Follistatin.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Mar. 2013. Web. 4 Apr. 2013.