Age-dependent changes in metabolite profile and lipid saturation in dystrophic mice

NMR Biomed. 2019 May;32(5):e4075. doi: 10.1002/nbm.4075. Epub 2019 Mar 8.


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked genetic disorder. In DMD, the absence of the dystrophin protein causes decreased sarcolemmal integrity resulting in progressive replacement of muscle with fibrofatty tissue. The effects of lacking dystrophin on muscle and systemic metabolism are still unclear. Therefore, to determine the impact of the absence of dystrophin on metabolism, we investigated the metabolic and lipid profile at two different, well-defined stages of muscle damage and stabilization in mdx mice. We measured NMR-detectable metabolite and lipid profiles in the serum and muscles of mdx mice at 6 and 24 weeks of age. Metabolites were determined in muscle in vivo using 1 H MRI/MRS, in isolated muscles using 1 H-HR-MAS NMR, and in serum using high resolution 1 H/13 C NMR. Dystrophic mice were found to have a unique lipid saturation profile compared with control mice, revealing an age-related metabolic change. In the 6-week-old mdx mice, serum lipids were increased and the degree of lipid saturation changed between 6 and 24 weeks. The serum taurine-creatine ratio increased over the life span of mdx, but not in control mice. Furthermore, the saturation index of lipids increased in the serum but decreased in the tissue over time. Finally, we demonstrated associations between MRI-T2 , a strong indicator of inflammation/edema, with tissue and serum lipid profiles. These results indicate the complex temporal changes of metabolites in the tissue and serum during repetitive bouts of muscle damage and regeneration that occur in dystrophic muscle.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); lipids; metabolism; metabolomics; muscle; neuromuscular disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Carbon-13 Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred mdx
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Animal / blood
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Animal / metabolism*
  • Principal Component Analysis


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids