Hashimoto Y, Kuniishi H, Sakai K, Fukushima Y, Du X, Yamashiro K, Hori K, Imamura M, Hoshino M, Yamada M, Araki T, Sakagami H, Takeda S, Itaka K, Ichinohe N, Muntoni F, Sekiguchi M, Aoki Y.

 Prog Neurobiol. 2022 Sep;216:102288. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2022.102288. Epub 2022 May 30. PMID: 35654209.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a muscle disorder caused by DMD mutations and is characterized by neurobehavioural comorbidities due to dystrophin deficiency in the brain. The lack of Dp140, a dystrophin short isoform, is clinically associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but its postnatal functional role is not well understood.

To investigate synaptic function in the presence or absence of brain Dp140, we utilized two DMD mouse models, mdx23 and mdx52 mice, in which Dp140 is preserved or lacking, respectively. ASD-like behaviours were observed in pups and 8-week-old mdx52 mice lacking Dp140.

Paired-pulse ratio of excitatory postsynaptic currents, glutamatergic vesicle number in basolateral amygdala neurons, and glutamatergic transmission in medial prefrontal cortex-basolateral amygdala projections were significantly reduced in mdx52 mice compared to those in wild-type and mdx23 mice. ASD-like behaviour and electrophysiological findings in mdx52 mice were ameliorated by restoration of Dp140 following intra-cerebroventricular injection of antisense oligonucleotide drug-induced exon 53 skipping or intra-basolateral amygdala administration of Dp140 mRNA-based drug.

Our results implicate Dp140 in ASD-like behaviour via altered glutamatergic transmission in the basolateral amygdala of mdx52 mice.


Keywords: Basolateral amygdala (BLA); Dp140; Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); Dystrophin protein (Dp) isoforms; Neurotransmission; RNA therapy.