- International Heart Journal Association
- International Heart Journal (ISSN:13492365)
- pp.20-372, (Released:2020-11-13)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is X-linked recessive myopathy caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Although conventional treatments have improved their prognosis, inevitable progressive cardiomyopathy is still the leading cause of death in patients with DMD. To explore novel therapeutic options, a suitable animal model with heart involvement has been warranted.We have generated a rat model with an out-of-frame mutation in the dystrophin gene using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing (DMD rats). The aim of this study was to evaluate their cardiac functions and pathologies to provide baseline data for future experiments developing treatment options for DMD.In comparison with age-matched wild rats, 6-month-old DMD rats showed no significant differences by echocardiographic evaluations. However, 10-month-old DMD rats showed significant deterioration in left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening (P = 0.024), and in tissue Doppler peak systolic velocity (Sa) at the LV lateral wall (P = 0.041) as well as at the right ventricular (RV) free-wall (P = 0.004). These functional findings were consistent with the fibrotic distributions by histological analysis.Although the cardiac phenotype was milder than anticipated, DMD rats showed similar distributions and progression of heart involvement to those of patients with DMD. This animal may be a useful model with which to develop effective drugs and to understand the underlying mechanisms of progressive heart failure in patients with DMD.