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Physiol Genomics. 2009 Apr 10;37(2):119-32. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.90370.2008. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Muscle genome-wide expression profiling during disease evolution in mdx mice.

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Laboratori de Neurologia Infantil, Institut de Recerca, Barcelona, Spain.


Mdx mice show a milder phenotype than Duchenne patients despite bearing an analogous genetic defect. Our aim was to sort out genes, differentially expressed during the evolution of skeletal muscle mdx mouse disease, to elucidate the mechanisms by which these animals overcome the lack of dystrophin. Genome-wide microarray-based gene expression analysis was carried out at 3 wk and 1.5 and 3 mo of life. Candidate genes were selected by comparing: 1) mdx vs. controls at each point in time, and 2) mdx mice and 3) control mice among the three points in time. The first analysis showed a strong upregulation (96%) of inflammation-related genes and in >75% of genes related to cell adhesion, muscle structure/regeneration, and extracellular matrix remodeling during mdx disease evolution. Lgals3, Postn, Ctss, and Sln genes showed the strongest variations. The analysis performed among points in time demonstrated significant changes in Ecm1, Spon1, Thbs1, Csrp3, Myo10, Pde4b, and Adamts-5 exclusively during mdx mice lifespan. RT-PCR analysis of Postn, Sln, Ctss, Thbs1, Ecm1, and Adamts-5 expression from 3 wk to 9 mo, confirmed microarray data and demonstrated variations beyond 3 mo of age. A high-confidence functional network analysis demonstrated a strong relationship between them and showed two main subnetworks, having Dmd-Utrn-Myo10 and Adamts5-Thbs1-Spon1-Postn as principal nodes, which are functionally linked to Abca1, Actn4, Crebbp, Csrp3, Lama1, Lama3, Mical2, Mical3, Myf6, Pxn, and Sparc genes. Candidate genes may participate in the decline of muscle necrosis in mdx mice and could be considered potential therapeutic targets for Duchenne patients.

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