Activin and follistatin biology in inflammation

Activin and follistatin biology in inflammation is a Research Project for the Archived: Activin Follistatin Biology and Inflammation Research Group, under the Centre for Reproductive Health.

Project Leaders

Follicle-stimulating-hormone-2Originally, researchers identified activin as a cytokine of the testis and ovary involved in the control of reproduction. In subsequent studies, we have shown that a number of organs within the body as well as blood up regulate and produce activin during inflammation and infection, which plays a crucial role in the inflammatory process and its outcomes. Activin also plays a fundamental role in the regulation of immunity, by controlling macrophage and lymphocyte development and survival. Blocking of activin actions by its binding protein, follistatin, mitigates the severity of inflammation and fibrosis in several disease models.

Consequently, activin and follistatin represent important therapeutic agents and targets in a range of conditions, including idiopathic lung disease, endotoxic shock, immunological infertility and chronic pain, and even in prevention of graft rejection.

These studies have the potential to drive therapeutic outcomes of many serious illnesses that have limited therapeutic options. The group’s work also involves collaborations with colleagues at other institutions and groups overseas.