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Mol Ther. 2011 Oct;19(10):1826-32. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.154. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

AAV-microdystrophin therapy improves cardiac performance in aged female mdx mice.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, The University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA.


Dystrophin deficiency leads to lethal dilated Duchenne cardiomyopathy. A promising therapy is to deliver a highly abbreviated microdystrophin gene to the heart using adeno-associated virus (AAV). Microdystrophin has been shown to mitigate dystrophin-deficient skeletal muscle disease. However, it is not clear whether microdystrophin is equally effective in treating Duchenne cardiomyopathy. To evaluate microdystrophin therapy in the heart, we injected 5 × 10(12) viral genome particles/mouse of AAV-9 ΔR4-23/ΔC microdystrophin vector via tail vein to ~16-20-month-old (average 18.7-month-old) female mdx mice, a manifesting model of Duchenne cardiomyopathy. Cardiac transduction and heart function were examined at 2-8 months after gene transfer. We observed robust myocardial microdystrophin expression. Electrocardiography (ECG) and left ventricular catheter hemodynamic assays also revealed significant improvement. Furthermore, AAV-microdystrophin therapy prevented dobutamine-stress induced acute cardiac death. We demonstrate for the first time that AAV microdystrophin therapy significantly ameliorates functional deficiency in a phenotypic model of Duchenne cardiomyopathy. Our results support further exploration of microdystrophin therapy to treat Duchenne cardiomyopathy.

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