FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

The effects of an ActRIIb receptor Fc fusion protein ligand trap in juvenile simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaques.

PMID 25466897


There are no approved therapies for muscle wasting in children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which portends poor disease outcomes. To determine whether a soluble ActRIIb receptor Fc fusion protein (ActRIIB.Fc), a ligand trap for TGF-β/activin family members including myostatin, can prevent or restore loss of lean body mass and body weight in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected juvenile rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Fourteen pair-housed, juvenile male rhesus macaques were inoculated with SIVmac239 and, 4 wk postinoculation (WPI) treated with intramuscular injections of 10 mg ⋅ kg(-1) ⋅ wk(-1) ActRIIB.Fc or saline placebo. Body weight, lean body mass, SIV titers, and somatometric measurements were assessed monthly for 16 wk. Age-matched SIV-infected rhesus macaques were injected with saline. Intervention groups did not differ at baseline. Gains in lean mass were significantly greater in the ActRIIB.Fc group than in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Administration of ActRIIB.Fc was associated with greater gains in body weight (P = 0.01) and upper arm circumference than placebo. Serum CD4(+) T-lymphocyte counts and SIV copy numbers did not differ between groups. Administration of ActRIIB.Fc was associated with higher muscle expression of myostatin than placebo. ActRIIB.Fc effectively blocked and reversed loss of body weight, lean mass, and fat mass in juvenile SIV-infected rhesus macaques.