Progressive cardiomyocyte loss in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) leads to cardiac fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, and eventually heart failure. In the present study, we observed that myogenic progenitor cells (MPC) carry mRNA for the dystrophin gene. We tested whether cardiac function can be improved in DMD by allograft transplantation of MPC-derived exosomes (MPC-Exo) into the heart to restore dystrophin protein expression. Exo from C2C12 cells (an MPC cell line) or vehicle were delivered locally into the hearts of MDX mice. After 2 days of treatment, we observed that MPC-Exo restored dystrophin expression in the hearts of MDX mice, which correlated with improved myocardial function in dystrophin-deficient MDX mouse hearts. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that allogeneic WT-MPC-Exo transplantation transiently restored dystrophin gene expression and improved cardiac function in MDX mice, suggesting that allogenic exosomal delivery may serve as an alternative treatment for cardiomyopathy of DMD.
Keywords: Cardiomyopathy; Dystrophin; Exosome; Myogenic progenitor cells.