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    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients are often treated with glucocorticoids; yet their precise molecular action remains unknown. We investigated muscle biopsies from nine boys with DMD (aged: 7,6±2,8 yrs.) collected before and after three months of deflazacort treatment and compared them to eight healthy boys (aged: 5,3±2,4 yrs.). mRNA transcripts involved in activation of satellite cells, myogenesis, regeneration, adipogenesis, muscle growth and tissue inflammation were assessed. Serum creatine kinase (CK) levels and muscle protein expression by immunohistochemistry of selected targets were also analysed. Transcript levels for ADIPOQ, CD68, CDH15, FGF2, IGF1R, MYF5, MYF6, MYH8, MYOD, PAX7, and TNFα were significantly different in untreated patients vs. normal muscle (p⟨0.05). Linear tests for trend indicated that the expression levels of treated patients were approaching normal values (p⟨0.05) following treatment (towards an increase; CDH15, C-MET, DLK1, FGF2, IGF1R, MYF5, MYF6, MYOD, PAX7; towards a decrease: CD68, MYH8, TNFα). Treatment reduced CK levels (p⟨0.05), but we observed no effect on muscle protein expression. This study provides insight into the molecular actions of glucocorticoids in DMD at the mRNA level, and we show that multiple regulatory pathways are influenced. This information can be important in the development of new treatments.


    L Jensen, S J Petersson, N O Illum, H C Laugaard-Jacobsen, T Thelle, L H Jørgensen, H D Schrøder. Muscular response to the first three months of deflazacort treatment in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions. 2017 Jun 01;17(2):8-18

    PMID: 28574407

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