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Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive neuromuscular disease, caused by an absence of dystrophin, inevitably leading to death. Although muscle lesions are well characterized, blood vessel alterations that may have a major impact on muscle regeneration remain poorly understood. Our aim was to elucidate alterations of the vascular network organization, taking advantage of Flk1(GFP/+) crossed with mdx mice (model for human DMD where all blood vessels express green fluorescent protein) and functional repercussions using in vivo nuclear magnetic resonance, combining arterial spin-labeling imaging of perfusion, and (31)P-spectroscopy of phosphocreatine kinetics. For the first time, our study focused on old (12-month-old) mdx mice, displaying marked chronic muscle lesions, similar to the lesions observed in human DMD, in comparison to young-adult (3-month-old) mdx mice displaying only mild muscle lesions with no fibrosis. By using an original approach combining a specific animal model, state-of-the-art histology/morphometry techniques, and functional nuclear magnetic resonance, we demonstrated that the microvascular system is almost normal in young-adult in contrast to old mdx mice, displaying marked microvessel alterations, and the functional repercussions on muscle perfusion and bioenergetics after a hypoxic stress vary depending on stage of pathology. This original approach clarifies disease evolution and paves the way for setting up new diagnostic markers or therapeutic strategies.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.05.009

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Pathol

Publication Date

09/2015

Volume

185

Pages

2482 - 2494

Keywords

Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Dystrophin, Fibrosis, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred mdx, Microvessels, Muscle, Skeletal, Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne