Scientific reports

Irisin prevents and restores bone loss and muscle atrophy in hind-limb suspended mice.

PMID 28588307


We previously showed that Irisin, a myokine released from skeletal muscle after physical exercise, plays a central role in the control of bone mass. Here we report that treatment with recombinant Irisin prevented bone loss in hind-limb suspended mice when administered during suspension (preventive protocol) and induced recovery of bone mass when mice were injected after bone loss due to a suspension period of 4 weeks (curative protocol). MicroCT analysis of femurs showed that r-Irisin preserved both cortical and trabecular bone mineral density, and prevented a dramatic decrease of the trabecular bone volume fraction. Moreover, r-Irisin protected against muscle mass decline in the hind-limb suspended mice, and maintained the fiber cross-sectional area. Notably, the decrease of myosin type II expression in unloaded mice was completely prevented by r-Irisin administration. Our data reveal for the first time that Irisin retrieves disuse-induced bone loss and muscle atrophy. These findings may lead to development of an Irisin-based therapy for elderly immobile osteoporotic and physically disable patients, and might represent a countermeasure for astronauts subjected to microgravity-induced bone and muscle losses.