Abstract 44: Telomere and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal X-linked recessive disease that is result of mutations in the dystrophin gene and is the most common myopathic disease in humans with a prevalence of one in every 3500 males. Dystrophin is crucial for the formation of a dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC), which connects the cytoskeleton of a muscle fiber to the surrounding extracellular matrix in both skeletal and cardiac muscles. In the heart, loss of dystrophin leads to increased fibrosis and death in the third decade of life due to dilated cardiomyopathy. A conundrum in studying and developing therapies for DMD has been the lack of a mouse model that fully recapitulates the clinical phenotype, as mice that lack dystrophin (mdx model), unlike patients, exhibit only mild skeletal muscle defects, essentially no cardiac defects and have a relatively normal lifespan. Our lab reasoned that the difference in the manifestation of the disease in mice and humans could be telomere length, as mice have substantially longer telomeres than humans. We created a novel mouse model with shortened telomere lengths (similar to humans) that fully recapitulates the skeletal muscle (Cell. 2010;143:1059-1071; the mdx/mTRKO model) and cardiac muscle phenotype of DMD (Nat Cell Biol. 2013; 15:895-904; dilated cardiomyopathy). Interestingly, we observed a relative 45% reduction in cardiomyocyte telomere length in our mdx/mTRKO animals (3 animals per group, N = 300-400) as well as patient samples (4 DMD patient samples, N = 40-95). Here we present new evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction and telomere dysfunction.
Author Disclosures: A.C. Chang: None. S. Ong: None. J. Wu: None. H.M. Blau: None.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate (California, Nevada & Utah).
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.