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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interleukin 6 induces overexpression of the sarcolemmal utrophin in neonatal mdx skeletal muscle.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked lethal disorder caused by a defect in the DMD gene, which encodes the cytoskeletal protein dystrophin. Utrophin is an autosomal homolog of the DMD gene product dystrophin, and augmented expression of endogenous utrophin is expected to provide an alternative therapeutic approach to DMD. We previously reported that an immune response against a beta-galactosidase-expressing adenovirus vector, AxCALacZ, resulted in an accumulation of endogenous utrophin on the extrasynaptic sarcolemma in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice. To determine which cytokine is involved in the regulation of utrophin expression, we directly injected several cytokines separately into neonatal mdx muscles and tested whether the expression of utrophin is increased on the sarcolemma. Importantly, among the cytokines tested, solely interleukin 6 (IL-6) successfully increased expression of utrophin. Moreover, the increase in utrophin mRNA was detected in recombinant IL-6-injected mdx muscles by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Further, IL-6 expression was elevated in AxCALacZ-infected mdx muscle at an early stage, and anti-IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) antibody treatment blocked enhanced utrophin expression in AxCALacZ-infected mdx muscle. We should point out, however, that overexpression of utrophin due to recombinant IL-6 treatment lasted only 1 week. In addition, expression of utrophin was not evident in normal C57BL/10 neonatal muscles injected with IL-6. Taken together, these results suggest that IL-6 can induce overexpression of utrophin on the extrasynaptic sarcolemma but requires preexisting factors in neonatal mdx muscle to fully regulate utrophin expression.[1]


  1. Interleukin 6 induces overexpression of the sarcolemmal utrophin in neonatal mdx skeletal muscle. Fujimori, K., Itoh, Y., Yamamoto, K., Miyagoe-Suzuki, Y., Yuasa, K., Yoshizaki, K., Yamamoto, H., Takeda, S. Hum. Gene Ther. (2002) [Pubmed]
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