Development of outcome measures according to dystrophic phenotypes in canine X-linked muscular dystrophy in Japan

Exp Anim. 2021 Nov 10;70(4):419-430. doi: 10.1538/expanim.21-0072. Epub 2021 Jun 16.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked lethal muscle disorder characterized by primary muscle degeneration. Therapeutic strategies for DMD have been extensively explored, and some are in the stage of human clinical trials. Along with the development of new therapies, sensitive outcome measures are needed to monitor the effects of new treatments. Therefore, we investigated outcome measures such as biomarkers and motor function evaluation in a dystrophic model of beagle dogs, canine X-linked muscular dystrophy in Japan (CXMDJ). Osteopontin (OPN), a myogenic inflammatory cytokine, was explored as a potential biomarker in dystrophic dogs over the disease course. The serum OPN levels of CXMDJ dystrophic dogs were elevated, even in the early disease phase, and this could be related to the presence of regenerating muscle fibers; as such, OPN would be a promising biomarker for muscle regeneration. Next, accelerometry, which is an efficient method to quantify performance in validated tasks, was used to evaluate motor function longitudinally in dystrophic dogs. We measured three-axis acceleration and angular velocity with wireless hybrid sensors during gait evaluations. Multiple parameters of acceleration and angular velocity showed notedly lower values in dystrophic dogs compared with wild-type dogs, even at the onset of muscle weakness. These parameters accordingly decreased with exacerbation of clinical manifestations along with the disease course. Multiple parameters also indicated gait abnormalities in dystrophic dogs, such as a waddling gait. These outcome measures could be applicable in clinical trials of patients with DMD or other muscle disorders.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; accelerometry; canine X-linked muscular dystrophy in Japan (CXMDJ); osteopontin; outcome measure.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / blood
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / physiopathology*
  • Osteopontin / blood*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care


  • Biomarkers
  • Osteopontin