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Inflammation in muscular dystrophy and the beneficial effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Authors

  • Filippo Serra MS,

    1. DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 14-00161 Rome, Italy
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    • The first two authors (F.S. and M.Q.) contributed equally to this work.

  • Marco Quarta PhD,

    1. Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
    2. IIM, Interuniversity Institute of Myology, Rome, Italy
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    • The first two authors (F.S. and M.Q.) contributed equally to this work.

  • Marta Canato PhD,

    1. Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biophysics Muscle Laboratory, University of Padua, Padua, Italy
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  • Luana Toniolo PhD,

    1. Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biophysics Muscle Laboratory, University of Padua, Padua, Italy
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  • Valeria De Arcangelis PhD,

    1. DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 14-00161 Rome, Italy
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  • Attilio Trotta MS,

    1. DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 14-00161 Rome, Italy
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  • Lucia Spath PhD,

    1. DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 14-00161 Rome, Italy
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  • Lucia Monaco PhD,

    1. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
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  • Carlo Reggiani MD,

    1. IIM, Interuniversity Institute of Myology, Rome, Italy
    2. Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biophysics Muscle Laboratory, University of Padua, Padua, Italy
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  • Fabio Naro MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 14-00161 Rome, Italy
    2. IIM, Interuniversity Institute of Myology, Rome, Italy
    • DAHFMO Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University, Via A. Scarpa 16-00161 Rome, Italy
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Abstract

Introduction: Glucocorticoids are the only drugs available for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), but it is unclear whether their efficacy is dependent on their anti-inflammatory activity. Methods: To address this issue, mdx mice were treated daily with methylprednisolone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs: aspirin, ibuprofen, parecoxib). Results: NSAID treatment was effective in ameliorating muscle morphology and reducing macrophage infiltration and necrosis. The percentage of regenerating myofibers was not modified by the treatments. The drugs were effective in reducing COX-2 expression and inflammatory cytokines, but they did not affect utrophin levels. The effects of the treatments on contractile performance were analyzed. Isometric tension did not differ in treated and untreated muscle, but the resistance to fatigue was decreased by treatment with methylprednisolone and aspirin. Conclusions: NSAIDs have a beneficial effect on mdx muscle morphology, pointing to a crucial role of inflammation in the progression of DMD. Muscle Nerve, 2012

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