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Human protein improves muscle function of muscular dystrophy mice
Date:12/27/2010

ated mice. Biologists recognize the fibers as indicators of recent tissue damage and repair, so a reduction in them suggests that the muscle tissue is suffering less damage.

The team also subjected mouse muscles to a standardized stress test where they are simultaneously stretched and caused to contract. The test ultimately weakens even healthy muscle, but in the tests conducted by researchers and co-authors from the University of Pennsylvania, the muscles of muscular dystrophy mice treated with biglycan lost their strength 30 percent more slowly than similar mice who were untreated.

In more recent tests using an improved formulation of biglycan, Fallon said, the team has seen that figure rise to 50 percent in some muscles, meaning that mice treated with biglycan are holding on to more of their function for a longer time.

Fallon said the effects of treatment with biglycan lasted through months of testing. Several basic tests for side effects during that time frame, such as kidney and liver function, did not indicate any harm from the therapy.

With the efficacy of biglycan apparent in the mouse model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Fallon is eager to see if it can improve the lives of thousands of children.

"The next big step is testing in humans," Fallon said.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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