Preclinical drug trials in the mdx mouse: assessment of reliable and sensitive outcome measures

Muscle Nerve. 2009 May;39(5):591-602. doi: 10.1002/mus.21211.


The availability of animal models for Duchenne muscular dystrophy has led to extensive preclinical research on potential therapeutics. Few studies have focused on reliability and sensitivity of endpoints for mdx mouse drug trials. Therefore, we sought to compare a wide variety of reported and novel endpoint measures in exercised mdx and normal control mice at 10, 20, and 40 weeks of age. Statistical analysis as well as power calculations for expected effect sizes in mdx preclinical drug trials across different ages showed that body weight, normalized grip strength, horizontal activity, rest time, cardiac function measurements, blood pressure, total central/peripheral nuclei per fiber, and serum creatine kinase are the most effective measurements for detecting drug-induced changes. These data provide an experimental basis upon which standardization of preclinical drug testing can be developed. Muscle Nerve, 2008.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / genetics
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diaphragm / pathology
  • Diaphragm / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical*
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Locomotion / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred mdx
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / genetics
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / genetics
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / drug therapy
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / pathology*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / physiopathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rotarod Performance Test / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Treatment Outcome*