The severity of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an incurable disease caused by the lack of dystrophin, might be modulated by different factors, including miRNAs. Among them, miR-378 is considered of high importance for muscle biology, but intriguingly, its role in DMD and its murine model (mdx mice) has not been thoroughly addressed so far. Here, we demonstrate that dystrophic mice additionally globally lacking miR-378 (double-KO [dKO] animals) exhibited better physical performance and improved absolute muscle force compared with mdx mice. Accordingly, markers of muscle damage in serum were significantly decreased in dKO mice, accompanied by diminished inflammation, fibrosis, and reduced abundance of regenerating fibers within muscles. The lack of miR-378 also normalized the aggravated fusion of dystrophin-deficient muscle satellite cells (mSCs). RNA sequencing of gastrocnemius muscle transcriptome revealed fibroblast growth factor 1 (Fgf1) as one of the most significantly downregulated genes in mice devoid of miR-378, indicating FGF1 as one of the mediators of changes driven by the lack of miR-378. In conclusion, we suggest that targeting miR-378 has the potential to ameliorate DMD pathology.
Paulina Podkalicka, Olga Mucha, Iwona Bronisz-Budzyńska, Magdalena Kozakowska, Katarzyna Pietraszek-Gremplewicz, Anna Cetnarowska, Urszula Głowniak-Kwitek, Karolina Bukowska-Strakova, Maciej Cieśla, Maria Kulecka, Jerzy Ostrowski, Michał Mikuła, Anna Potulska-Chromik, Anna Kostera-Pruszczyk, Alicja Józkowicz, Agnieszka Łoboda, Józef Dulak