Yoon S, Sugamori, KS, Grynpas MD, Mitchell D. Positive Effects of Bisphosphonates on Bone and Muscle in a Mouse Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Neuromusc Dis 2016;26:73–84. nition and Management of Acute Flaccid Myelitis in Children. Nelson, GR et al. Pediatric Neurology 55(2016) 17-21.
Submitted by Kathya Ramos, MD, News Science Editorial Board
Patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are at risk for reduced bone mineral density and fracture secondary to inactivity. To determine if antiresorptive bisphosphonates could improve bone quality and muscle health, the authors studied Mdx mice treated with pamidronate during peak bone growth. Twenty mice were randomly assigned into bisphosphonate (BP) and untreated control groups. At 5 and 6 weeks of age, BP mice received pamidronate 2 mg/kg twice per week. At 13 weeks, the BP mice showed increased cortical bone density, femur strength, and fracture resistance in long bones but not in vertebral bodies. Pamidronate treatment also had positive effects on muscle: serum creatine kinase was reduced, muscle histology was improved, and grip strength was increased. Diaphragm function, however, did not improve.
This study supports a possible beneficial effect of pamidronate on bone and muscle health in the Mdx mouse. The improvement in bone density is consistent with previous retrospective work in human subjects. The identification of improved muscle structure and function with pamidronate is a novel finding that will require reproduction and further exploration.
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