Subcellular localization of dystrophin isoforms in cardiomyocytes and phenotypic analysis of dystrophin-deficient mice reveal cardiac myopathy is predominantly caused by a deficiency in full-length dystrophin

Exp Anim. 2013;62(3):211-7. doi: 10.1538/expanim.62.211.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive progressive muscle degenerative disorder that causes dilated cardiomyopathy in the second decade of life in affected males. Dystrophin, the gene responsible for DMD, encodes full-length dystrophin and various short dystrophin isoforms. In the mouse heart, full-length dystrophin Dp427 and a short dystrophin isoform, Dp71, are expressed. In this study, we intended to clarify the functions of these dystrophin isoforms in DMD-related cardiomyopathy. We used two strains of mice: mdx mice, in which Dp427 was absent but Dp71 was present, and DMD-null mice, in which both were absent. By immunohistochemical staining and density-gradient centrifugation, we found that Dp427 was located in the cardiac sarcolemma and also at the T-tubules, whereas Dp71 was specifically located at the T-tubules. In order to determine whether T tubule-associated Dp71 was involved in DMD-related cardiac disruption, we compared the cardiac phenotypes between DMD-null mice and mdx mice. Both DMD-null mice and mdx mice exhibited severe necrosis, which was followed by fibrosis in cardiac muscle. However, we could not detect a significant difference in myocardial fibrosis between mdx mice and DMD-null mice. Based on the present results, we have shown that cardiac myopathy is caused predominantly by a deficiency of full-length dystrophin Dp427.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics*
  • Dystrophin / deficiency*
  • Dystrophin / genetics*
  • Fibrosis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Phenotype*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Sarcolemma / metabolism


  • Dystrophin
  • Protein Isoforms