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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2001;22(2):133-9.

Comparative evolution of muscular dystrophy in diaphragm, gastrocnemius and masseter muscles from old male mdx mice.

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  • 1INSERM U 128, Muscles et Pathologies, IFR24, Institut Bouisson-Bertrand, Montpellier, France.


X chromosome-linked muscular dystrophic mdx mouse lacks the sarcolemmal protein dystrophin and represents a genetic homologue of human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The present study analysed some aspects of pathological processes such as fibrosis, frequency of centralized nuclei, presence of degenerative or regenerative fibres, expression of utrophin and associated protein complexes, and myosin heavy chain isoforms in three muscles [diaphragm (DIA), gastrocnemius (GTC) and masseter (MAS)] from old male mdx mice. All parameters investigated comparatively in these pathological muscles provided evidence that the MAS mdx muscle presents a slight deterioration pattern in comparison to that of DIA and GTC muscles. Utrophin and associated proteins are present in many cell clusters with continuous membrane labelling in MAS muscle. Respective proportions of myosin heavy chain isoforms, measured by electrophoresis/densitometry, showed only slight change in GTC muscle, significant evolution in DIA muscle but drastic isoform conversions in MAS muscle. These results highlighted the difference in deterioration susceptibility of various muscles to muscular dystrophy. The reason why this occurs in MAS muscles is still obscure and discussed in terms of the comparative developmental origins of these muscles.

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