Title page for ETD etd-05262005-130324

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gainer, Thomas Gregory
Author's Email Address tommy_gainer@yahoo.com
URN etd-05262005-130324
Title Immune Response Markers are Prevalent in the mRNA Expression Profile of Maturing Dystrophic Murine Skeletal Muscle
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Grange, Robert W. Committee Chair
Robertson, John L. Committee Member
Williams, Jay H. Committee Member
  • Mdx-Utrophin Knockout Mouse
  • Affymetrix
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Date of Defense 2005-05-10
Availability unrestricted
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe and fatal muscle wasting disease characterized by a high mutation rate in the gene that encodes the membrane-associated protein dystrophin that results in absence of expressed protein. Although the primary genetic defect for DMD is known, the mechanisms that initiate the onset of DMD are not currently understood. This study tested the hypothesis that pathophysiological processes involved in DMD could be identified by the global expression of mRNA in maturing dystrophin- and utrophin-deficient mouse (mdx:utrn-/-) muscles. Two potential dystrophic onset mechanisms targeted for analysis were (1) disrupted expression of calcium handling proteins; and, (2) increased expression of immune response markers.

An mRNA expression profile was developed following isolation of total RNA from control and mdx:utrn-/- triceps surae (TS) muscles at ages 9-10 and 20-21 days using Affymetrix® Mu74Av2 GeneChips®. Compared to control, the mRNA expression profile in mdx:utrn-/- muscles revealed there was a 3-fold increase in the number of gene transcripts differentially expressed more than 2-fold (53 transcripts at ages 9-10 days; 153 at ages 20-21 days). However, there were no changes in the mRNA transcripts for calcium handling proteins. In distinct contrast, there was up-regulation of transcripts that corresponded to an immune response (40 transcripts), extracellular matrix activity (14), and proteolysis (8). Up-regulation of several transcripts corresponded to cytokines and their receptors (11), chemokines and their receptors (5), and lymphoid and myeloid markers (16) suggesting that dystrophic muscle is susceptible to invasion by macrophages, leukocytes, B- and T-cells. These results are consistent with several reports (Spencer et al., 1997; Chen et al., 2000; Porter et al., 2002; Porter et al., 2003a; Porter et al., 2003b; Porter et al., 2004) that indicate the immune system may play an important role in the early pathophysiology of DMD. Understanding the functional aspects of an immune response in DMD onset should lead to more effective therapeutics.

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