Clinics (Sao Paulo).2019;74:e981.
Elevated serum Activin A in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with skeletal muscle wasting
Muscle wasting contributes to the reduced quality of life and increased mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Muscle atrophy in mice with cachexia was caused by Activin A binding to ActRIIB. The role of circulating Activin A leading to muscle atrophy in COPD remains elusive.
In the present study, we evaluated the relationship between serum levels of Activin A and skeletal muscle wasting in COPD patients. The expression levels of serum Activin A were measured in 78 stable COPD patients and in 60 healthy controls via ELISA, which was also used to determine the expression of circulating TNF-α levels. Total skeletal muscle mass (SMM) was calculated according to a validated formula by age and anthropometric measurements. The fat-free mass index (FFMI) was determined as the fat-free mass (FFM) corrected for body surface area.
Compared to the healthy controls, COPD patients had upregulated Activin A expression. The elevated levels of Activin A were correlated with TNF-α expression, while total SMM and FFMI were significantly decreased in COPD patients. Furthermore, serum Activin A expression in COPD patients was negatively associated with both FFMI and BMI.
The above results showed an association between increased circulating Activin A in COPD patients and the presence of muscle atrophy. Given our previous knowledge, we speculate that Activin A contributes to skeletal muscle wasting in COPD.