Therapeutic Strategies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: An Update

Genes (Basel). 2020 Jul 23;11(8):837. doi: 10.3390/genes11080837.


Neuromuscular disorders encompass a heterogeneous group of conditions that impair the function of muscles, motor neurons, peripheral nerves, and neuromuscular junctions. Being the most common and most severe type of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), is caused by mutations in the X-linked dystrophin gene. Loss of dystrophin protein leads to recurrent myofiber damage, chronic inflammation, progressive fibrosis, and dysfunction of muscle stem cells. Over the last few years, there has been considerable development of diagnosis and therapeutics for DMD, but current treatments do not cure the disease. Here, we review the current status of DMD pathogenesis and therapy, focusing on mutational spectrum, diagnosis tools, clinical trials, and therapeutic approaches including dystrophin restoration, gene therapy, and myogenic cell transplantation. Furthermore, we present the clinical potential of advanced strategies combining gene editing, cell-based therapy with tissue engineering for the treatment of muscular dystrophy.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; cell transplantation; dystrophin restoration; gene therapy; pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / therapy*