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Muscle Nerve. 2012 Nov;46(5):773-84. doi: 10.1002/mus.23432. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

Inflammation in muscular dystrophy and the beneficial effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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  • 1DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 14-00161 Rome, Italy.



Glucocorticoids are the only drugs available for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), but it is unclear whether their efficacy is dependent on their anti-inflammatory activity.


To address this issue, mdx mice were treated daily with methylprednisolone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs: aspirin, ibuprofen, parecoxib).


NSAID treatment was effective in ameliorating muscle morphology and reducing macrophage infiltration and necrosis. The percentage of regenerating myofibers was not modified by the treatments. The drugs were effective in reducing COX-2 expression and inflammatory cytokines, but they did not affect utrophin levels. The effects of the treatments on contractile performance were analyzed. Isometric tension did not differ in treated and untreated muscle, but the resistance to fatigue was decreased by treatment with methylprednisolone and aspirin.


NSAIDs have a beneficial effect on mdx muscle morphology, pointing to a crucial role of inflammation in the progression of DMD.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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