Myostatin and markers of bone metabolism in dermatomyositis

Katharina Kerschan-Schindl, Wolfgang Gruther, Ursula Föger-Samwald, Christine Bangert, Stefan Kudlacek, Peter Pietschmann

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In dermatomyostis (DM) patients, inflammation, reduced activity, and medication have a negative impact on the musculoskeletal system. Several endocrine factors are involved in muscle growth and bone turnover. Objective: We aimed to investigate factors regulating myogenesis and bone metabolism and to evaluate possible associations between these endocrine factors, muscle strength, and functional tests in DM patients. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in 20 dermatomyositis patients. Serum levels of myostatin (MSTN), follistatin (FSTN), dickkopf 1 (Dkk1), sclerostin (SOST), periostin (PSTN), the receptor activator nuclear factor kB ligand (RANKL):osteoprotegerin (OPG) ratio and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) were determined. Physical function was evaluated by hand-held strength measurement, chair rising test, timed up and go test and the 3-min walking test. Results: Serum MSTN and FGF23 levels (2.5 [1.9; 3.2] vs. 1.9 [1.6; 2.3] and 2.17 [1.45; 3.26] vs. 1.28 [0.79; 1.96], respectively; p < 0.05) were significantly higher in DM patients than in controls. Dkk1 was significantly lower (11.4 [6.9; 20.0] vs. 31.8 [14.3; 50.6], p < 0.01). Muscle strength and physical function tests correlated with each other (e.g. hip flexion – timed up and go test: r = − 0.748, p < 0.01). Conclusion: In DM patients, biochemical musculo-skeletal markers are altered and physical function shows deficits. All these tests reflect independent of each other different deficits in long-term DM patients which is important for the assessment of DM patients as well as planning of therapeutic interventions in clinical routine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150
Pages (from-to)150
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatomyositis/diagnosis
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Humans
  • Myostatin
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Postural Balance
  • RANK Ligand
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • Muscle strength
  • Dermatomyositis
  • FGF23
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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