Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most frequent muscular dystrophy in children and young adults. Currently, there is no cure for the disease. The transplantation of healthy myoblasts is an experimental therapeutic strategy, since it could restore the expression of dystrophin
in DMD muscles. Nevertheless, this cellular therapy is limited by immune reaction, low migration of the implanted cells, and high early cell death that could be at least partially due to anoikis. To avoid the lack of attachment of the cells to an extracellular matrix after the transplantation,
which is the cause of anoikis, we tested the use of a fibrin gel for myoblast transplantation. In vitro, three concentrations of fibrinogen were compared (3, 20, and 50 mg/ml) to form a fibrin gel. A stiffer fibrin gel leads to less degradability and less proliferation of the cells. A concentration
of 3 mg/ml fibrin gel enhanced the differentiation of the myoblasts earlier as a culture in monolayer. Human myoblasts were also transplanted in muscles of Rag/mdx mice in a fibrin gel or in a saline solution (control). The use of 3 mg/ml fibrin gel for cell transplantation increased
not only the survival of the cells as measured after 5 days but also the number of fibers expressing dystrophin after 21 days, compared to the control. Moreover, the fibrin gel was also compared to a prosurvival cocktail. The survival of the myoblasts at 5 days was increased in both conditions
compared to the control but the efficacy of the prosurvival cocktail was not significantly higher than the fibrin gel.
Neurosciences Division-Human Genetics, CHUQ Research Centre-CHUL, Quebec, Canada
Publication date: January 1, 2012
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