Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an X-linked disease afflicting 1 in 3500 males that is characterized by muscle weakness and wasting during early childhood, and loss of ambulation and death by early adulthood. Chronic inflammation due to myofiber instability leads to fibrosis, which is a primary cause of loss of ambulation and cardiorespiratory insufficiency. Current standard of care focuses on reducing inflammation with corticosteroids, which have serious adverse effects. It is imperative to identify alternate immunosuppressants as treatments to reduce fibrosis and mortality. Serp-1, a Myxoma virus-derived 55 kDa secreted glycoprotein, has proven efficacy in a range of animal models of acute inflammation, and its safety and efficacy has been shown in a clinical trial. In this initial study, we examined whether pegylated Serp-1 (PEGSerp-1) treatment would ameliorate chronic inflammation in a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Our data revealed a significant reduction in diaphragm fibrosis and increased myofiber diameter, and significantly decreased pro-inflammatory M1 macrophage infiltration. The M2a macrophage and overall T cell populations showed no change. These data demonstrate that treatment with this new class of poxvirus-derived immune-modulating serpin has potential as a therapeutic approach designed to ameliorate DMD pathology and facilitate muscle regeneration.
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Myxoma virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology