Participating Faculty

Dan Rodgers

Dan Rodgers

Department:Animal Sciences, WSU
Credentials:1995~Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Office:Animal Science Lab 124
Mailing Address:Animal Sciences
PO Box 646351
Pullman, WA 99164-6351

Research Interests

Muscle development, endocrine growth control

Research Summary

In simple terms, I am interested in how muscles form, how they can be repaired and how these processes evolved. The projects conducted in my lab attempt to answer each of these questions individually and are defining novel actions for myostatin; a myokine that helps coordinate different muscle growth processes. They utilize both biomedical and comparative model systems and together provide a comprehensive understanding of the individual processes involved. Our studies suggest that myostatin is not only a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth, but that it also inhibits cardiac muscle physiological hypertrophy, the “good” type that develops with exercise. Our studies also suggest that attenuating myostatin’s actions could help patients recover from a myocardial infarction. The myokine functions similarly in fish as it does in mammals and its gene family is being used as a model for better understanding the fundamental mechanisms by which duplicate genes evolve. The hypermuscularity that develops in animals lacking a functional myostatin gene comes with a cost, however, as preliminary studies suggest that the coloric requirements for maintaining very large muscles can negatively impact reproduction. Thus, from an evolutionary perspective, myostatin helps to maintain optimal muscle mass as having too much muscle is surprisingly not beneficial.

Research Publications


B.D. Rodgers, J.P. Interlichia, D.K. Garikipati, M. Ranganath, M. Chandra, O.L. Nelson, C.E. Murry, L.F. Santana. "Myostatin suppresses physiological hypertrophy and excitation-contraction coupling in cardiac muscle." J Physiol (in press), 2009

B.D. Rodgers and D.K. Garikipati. "Clinical, agricultural and evolutionary biology of myostatin; a comparative review." Endocr Rev 29(5):513-34, 2008.

D. Garikipati, S.A. Gahr, E.A. Roalson and B.D. Rodgers. "Characterization of rainbow trout myostatin-2 genes (rtMSTN-2a & -2b): genomic organization, differential expression and psuedogenization." Endocrinology 148(5):210-15, 2007.

M. Oufattole, S.W.J. Lin, B. Liu, D. Mascarenhas, P. Cohen and B.D. Rodgers. 2006. "RNA polymerase II subunit 3 (Rpb3), a potential nuclear target of IGFBP-3." Endocrinology 147(5):2138-46,

D. Garikipati, S.A. Gahr and B.D. Rodgers. "Identification, characterization and quantitative expression analysis of rainbow trout myostatin-1a and -1b genes." J Endocrinol 190(3):879-88, 2006.

B.D. Rodgers. 2005. "Insulin-like growth factor-I downregulates embryonic myosin heavy chain (eMyHC) protein in myoblast nuclei." GH IGF Res 15(6):377-83.

T. Kerr, E.H. Roalson and B.D. Rodgers. 2005. "Phylogenetic Analysis of the Myostatin Gene Sub-family and the Differential Expression of a Novel Member in Zebrafish." Evo Devo 7(5):391-401.

B.D. Rodgers, G.M. Weber, K.M. Kelley and M.A. Levine. 2003. "Prolonged fasting and cortisol reduce myostatin mRNA levels in developing tilapia larvae, short-term fasting elevates." Am J Physiol; Reg Int Comp Physiol, May;284(5):R1277-86.

B.D. Rodgers and G.M. Weber. 2001. "Sequence conservation among fish myostatin orthologues and the characterization of two additional cDNA clones from Morone saxatilis and Morone americana." Comp Biochem Physiol (B Biochem Mol Biol) 129(2-3):597-603.

Washington State University