Lifetime analysis of mdx skeletal muscle reveals a progressive pathology that leads to myofiber loss. Academic Article uri icon


  • The muscular dystrophy X-linked mouse (mdx) is the most commonly used preclinical model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Although disease progression in the mouse does not perfectly model the human disease, it shares many pathological features. Early characterizations of the model reported severe pathology through early adulthood followed by disease stabilization. As a result, research in the mdx mouse has largely focused on early adulthood. The overarching goal of this study is to improve the understanding of the mdx mouse model by tracking pathological features of the disease throughout life. We performed a thorough characterization of myofiber pathology in mdx mice from 2weeks to 2years of age. We report that individual mdx muscle fibers undergo progressive hypertrophy that continues through the lifespan. Despite massive hypertrophy on the myofiber level, we report no hypertrophy on the muscle level. These seemingly contradictory findings are explained by previously underappreciated myofiber loss in mdx mice. We conclude that due to myofiber loss, in combination with the progressive nature of other pathological features, aged mdx muscle tissue provides reliable benchmarks for disease progression that may be valuable in testing the efficacy of therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 4.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Massopust, R. T., Lee, Y. I., Pritchard, A. L., Nguyen, V., McCreedy, D. A., & Thompson, W. J.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Massopust, Ryan T||Lee, Young Il||Pritchard, Anna L||Nguyen, Van-Khoa M||McCreedy, Dylan A||Thompson, Wesley J

publication date

  • October 2020