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Am J Pathol. 2007 Jul;171(1):181-99.

Overexpression of the cytotoxic T cell (CT) carbohydrate inhibits muscular dystrophy in the dyW mouse model of congenital muscular dystrophy 1A.

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Center for Gene Therapy, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.


A number of recent studies have demonstrated therapeutic effects of transgenes on the development of muscle pathology in the mdx mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but none have been shown also to be effective in mouse models for laminin alpha2-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A). Here, we show that overexpression of the cytotoxic T cell (CT) GalNAc transferase (Galgt2) is effective in inhibiting the development of muscle pathology in the dy(W) mouse model of MDC1A, much as we had previously shown in mdx animals. Embryonic overexpression of Galgt2 in skeletal muscles using transgenic mice or postnatal overexpression using adeno-associated virus both reduced the extent of muscle pathology in dy(W)/dy(W) skeletal muscle. As with mdx mice, embryonic overexpression of the Galgt2 transgene in dy(W)/dy(W) myofibers inhibited muscle growth, whereas postnatal overexpression did not. Both embryonic and postnatal overexpression of Galgt2 in dy(W)/dy(W) muscle increased the expression of agrin, a protein that, in recombinant form, has been shown to ameliorate disease, whereas laminin alpha1, another disease modifier, was not expressed. Galgt2 over-expression also stimulated the glycosylation of a gly-colipid with the CT carbohydrate, and glycolipids accounted for most of the CT-reactive material in postnatal overexpression experiments. These experiments demonstrate that Galgt2 overexpression is effective in altering disease progression in skeletal muscles of dy(W) mice and should be considered as a therapeutic target in MDC1A.

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