The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of myostatin, which is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass, on the proliferation of NIH3T3 fibroblasts and the synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM) by them. A proliferation assay revealed that myostatin attenuated cell growth at any of the doses used. High doses of myostatin strongly inhibited cell proliferation. Moreover, myostatin receptor, activin receptor type-2B (ActRIIB), was found to be distributed on cells and it was also clarified that myostatin increased the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 (p21). These results suggested that a high dose of myostatin inhibits fibroblast proliferation by the same mechanism as that for inhibition of myoblast proliferation. We then examined the effects of myostatin on the mRNA expression of ECM molecules (decorin, biglycan, type I collagen, type III collagen, type IV collagen and type V collagen) by real-time PCR. Real-time PCR showed that myostatin increased the mRNA of decorin, biglycan and collagen (types I, IV and V) in fibroblasts. The results suggest that myostatin regulates ECM synthesis in cultured fibroblasts.