Irisin is a pro-myogenic factor that induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy and rescues denervation-induced atrophy

Musarrat Maisha Reza (Lead Author), Nathiya Subramaniyam, Chu Ming Sim, Xiaojia Ge, Durgalakshmi Sathiakumar, Craig McFarlane, Mridula Sharma, Ravi Kambadur

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197 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Exercise induces expression of the myokine irisin, which is known to promote browning of white adipose tissue and has been shown to mediate beneficial effects following exercise. Here we show that irisin induces expression of a number of pro-myogenic and exercise response genes in myotubes. Irisin increases myogenic differentiation and myoblast fusion via activation of IL6 signaling. Injection of irisin in mice induces significant hypertrophy and enhances grip strength of uninjured muscle. Following skeletal muscle injury, irisin injection improves regeneration and induces hypertrophy. The effects of irisin on hypertrophy are due to activation of satellite cells and enhanced protein synthesis. In addition, irisin injection rescues loss of skeletal muscle mass following denervation by enhancing satellite cell activation and reducing protein degradation. These data suggest that irisin functions as a pro-myogenic factor in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1104
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2017


  • Adipose Tissue, White/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Atrophy/etiology
  • Denervation/adverse effects
  • Fibronectins/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy/genetics
  • Interleukin-6/genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal/cytology
  • Stem Cells/cytology

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