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Neuroreport. 2000 Dec 18;11(18):4033-5.

Elevated plasma levels of transforming growth factor beta1 in patients with muscular dystrophy.

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Department of Pediatrics, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


The progression of muscular weakness of patients suffering from muscular dystrophies directly correlates with the progressive loss of myofibers, accompanied by fibrosis. Since transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) promotes tissue fibrosis, we measured the plasma TGF-beta1 level in patients with various muscular dystrophies in order to determine whether the level is elevated in patients with muscular dystrophy and if the level reflects the severity of tissue fibrosis. The plasma TGF-beta1 level was significantly elevated in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), but not in those with Becker muscular dystrophy. Growth factors related to muscle fiber regeneration and fibrosis might be a key factor in the progression of muscular dystrophy and could be a target for therapeutic studies.

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