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

Prednisone reduces muscle degeneration in dystrophin-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a degenerative muscular disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. There is no curative treatment against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In several countries, the steroid prednisone (or analogs) is prescribed as a palliative treatment. In the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans, mutations of the dys-1 dystrophin-like gene lead to a muscular degenerative phenotype when they are associated with a mild MyoD mutation. This cheap and fast-growing model of dystrophinopathy may be used to screen for molecules able to slow muscle degeneration. In a blind screen of approximately 100 compounds covering a wide spectrum of targets, we found that prednisone is beneficial to the C. elegans dystrophin-deficient muscles. Prednisone reduces by 40% the number of degenerating cells in this animal. This result is a proof-of-principle for the use of C. elegans as a tool in the search for molecules active against the effects of dystrophin-deficiency. Moreover, since C. elegans is not susceptible to inflammation, this suggests that prednisone exerts a direct effect on muscle survival.[1]


  1. Prednisone reduces muscle degeneration in dystrophin-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans. Gaud, A., Simon, J.M., Witzel, T., Carre-Pierrat, M., Wermuth, C.G., Ségalat, L. Neuromuscul. Disord. (2004) [Pubmed]
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