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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2006;27(3-4):253-8. Epub 2006 Jun 22.

Blocking of striated muscle degeneration by serotonin in C. elegans.

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CGMC, CNRS-UMR 5534, Université Lyon 1, 43 bld du 11 Novembre, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France.


Prevention of muscle fiber degeneration is a key issue in the treatment of muscular dystrophies such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). It is widely postulated that existing pharmaceutical compounds might potentially be beneficial to DMD patients, but tools to identify them are lacking. Here, by using a Caenorhabditis elegans model of dystrophin-dependent muscular dystrophy, we show that the neurohormone serotonin and some of its agonists are potent suppressors of muscle degeneration. Inhibitors of serotonin reuptake transporters, which prolong the action of endogenous serotonin, have a similar effect. Moreover, reduction of serotonin levels leads to degeneration of non-dystrophic muscles. Our results demonstrate that serotonin is critical to C. elegans striated muscles. These findings reveal a new function of serotonin in striated muscles.

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