Summary Skeletal muscle fibrosis is a defining feature of the muscular dystrophies in which contractile myofibers are replaced by fibroblasts, adipocytes and extracellular matrix. This maladaptive response of muscle to repetitive injury is progressive, self-perpetuating and thus far, has been considered irreversible. We have previously shown that myostatin, a known endogenous modulator of muscle growth, stimulates normal muscle fibroblasts to proliferate. Here, we demonstrate that myostatin also regulates the proliferation of dystrophic muscle fibroblasts, and increases a resistance of fibroblasts to apoptosis through Smad and MAPK signalling. Inhibition of myostatin signalling pathways with a soluble activin IIB receptor (ActRIIB.Fc) reduces a resistance of muscle fibroblasts to apoptosis in vitro. Systemic administration of ActRIIB.Fc in senescent mdx mice, a model of muscular dystrophy, significantly increases the number of muscle fibroblasts undergoing apoptosis. This leads to the reversal of pre-existing muscle fibrosis as determined by histological, biochemical and radiographical criteria. These results demonstrate that skeletal muscle fibrosis can be pharmacologically reversed through induction of fibroblast apoptosis.