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Cell Transplant. 1993 Nov-Dec;2(6):485-505.

Cell transplantation as an experimental treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Cell Therapy Research Foundation, Memphis, TN 38117.


The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of myoblast transfer therapy (MIT) were assessed in an experimental lower body treatment (LBT) involving 32 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) boys aged 6-14 yr, half of whom were nonambulatory. Through 48 injections, five billion (55.6 x 10(6)/mL) normal myoblasts were transferred into 22 major muscles in both lower limbs, in 10 min with the subject under general anesthesia. Ten subjects received myoblasts cultured from satellite cells derived from 1-g fresh muscle biopsies of normal males aged 9-21 yr. Donor myoblasts for the remaining 22 boys were subcultured from reserves frozen 1 mo-1.5 yr ago. Only four donors were known to have identical histocompatibility with their recipients. All subjects took oral doses of the immunosuppressant cyclosporine (Cy), beginning at 2 days before MTT and lasting for 6 mo after MTT to facilitate donor cell survival. There was no evidence of an adverse reaction to MTT or Cy as determined by serial laboratory evaluations including electrolytes, creatinine, and urea. Objective functional tests using the KinCom Robotic Dynamometer measured the maximum isometric contractile forces of the ankle plantar flexors (AF), knee flexors (KF), and knee extensors (KE) before MTT and at 3, 6, and 9 mo after MTT. The AF, being distal muscles and less degenerative than the KE and the KF, showed no decrease in mean contractile force 3 mo after MTT, and progressive increases in force at 6 and 9 mo after MTT. At 9 mo after MTT, 60% of the 60 AF examined showed a mean increase of 50% in force; 28% showed no change; and only 12% showed a mean decrease in force of 29% when compared to the function of the same muscles before MTT. The KF, being proximal muscles and more degenerative, showed no change in function at 9 mo after MTT. The KE, being proximal and anti-gravitational, were most degenerative before MTT. They showed no statistically significant change in force at 3 mo after MTT but showed decreases at 6 and 9 mo after MTT. At 9 mo after MTT, 23% of the 60 KE examined showed a mean increase of 65% in force; 22% showed no change; and 55% showed a mean decrease of 24% in force. When results of all muscle groups (AF, KF, KE) were pooled, there was no change in force at 3, 6, or 9 mo after MTT vs. before MTT according to the Wilcoxon signed rank test.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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