Journal article

Branched fibers from old fast-twitch dystrophic muscles are the sites of terminal damage in muscular dystrophy

Leonit Kiriaev, Sindy Kueh, John W Morley, Kathryn N North, Peter J Houweling, Stewart Head

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-CELL PHYSIOLOGY | AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC | Published : 2018

Abstract

A striking pathological feature of dystrophinopathies is the presence of morphologically abnormal branched skeletal muscle fibers. The deterioration of muscle contractile function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy is accompanied by both an increase in number and complexity of these branched fibers. We propose that when number and complexity of branched fibers reaches a critical threshold, or "tipping point," the branches in and of themselves are the site of contraction-induced rupture. In the present study, we use the dystrophic mdx mouse and littermate controls to study the prediseased dystrophic fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle at 2-3 wk, the peak myonecrotic phase at 6-9 wk..

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