The interplay of mitophagy and inflammation in duchenne muscular dystrophy

Academic Article


  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked neuromuscular disease caused by a pathogenic disruption of the DYSTROPHIN gene that results in non-functional dystrophin protein. DMD patients experience loss of ambulation, cardiac arrhythmia, metabolic syndrome, and respiratory failure. At the molecular level, the lack of dystrophin in the muscle results in myofiber death, fibrotic infiltration, and mitochondrial dysfunction. There is no cure for DMD, although dystrophin-replacement gene therapies and exon-skipping approaches are being pursued in clinical trials. Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the first cellular changes seen in DMD myofibers, occurring prior to muscle disease onset and progresses with disease severity. This is seen by reduced mitochondrial function, abnormal mitochondrial morphology and impaired mitophagy (degradation of damaged mitochondria). Dysfunctional mitochondria release high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can activate pro-inflammatory pathways such as IL-1β and IL-6. Impaired mitophagy in DMD results in increased inflammation and further aggravates disease pathology, evidenced by increased muscle damage and increased fibrosis. This review will focus on the critical interplay between mitophagy and inflammation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy as a pathological mechanism, as well as describe both candidate and established therapeutic targets that regulate these pathways.
  • Published In

  • Life  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Reid AL; Alexander MS
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 7