Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Functional Ischemia Reproduces Its Characteristic Lesions

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Science  11 Jun 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3988, pp. 1143-1145
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3988.1143


The highly characteristic early and midstage histological lesions of Duchenne dystrophy were reproduced experimentally in the rat by the combination of a vascular abnormality, aortic ligation, which does not affect the structure of the intramuscular blood vessels, and the humoral vasoactive substance 5-hydroxytryptamine. Neither ligation nor injection of 5-hydroxytryptamine alone causes changes in the muscle fibers. This result establishes the possibility of a similar combined mechanism for a nonstructural ischemia pathogenesis in Duchenne dystrophy. The proposed pathogenesis is contrary to the generally held idea that the cause is an intrinsic abnormality of muscle fiber metabolism.