Étude du profil immunogénique des fibres révertantes dans la dystrophie musculaire de Duchenne

Authors: Metlej, Racha
Advisor: Tremblay, Jacques-P.
Abstract: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive neuromuscular disease. It is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration, eventually leading to loss of ambulation and death. It is caused by a mutation in the dmd gene which encodes for the dystrophin protein. This mutation alters the normal reading frame of the gene causing the loss of dystrophin expression, essential for the protection of muscles from degeneration, following an effort. However, the majority of DMD patients and mdx mice (animal model of DMD) have rare revertant muscle fibers that express dystrophin. This expression is due to a somatic mutation, which restores of the normal reading frame of the gene and leads to the synthesis of a recombinant dystrophin. It was suggested that the dystrophine expressed by the revertant fibers could induce immunological tolerance, leading to the accumulation of revertant fibers. Alternatively, these rare revertant fibers could induce an autoimmune response that limits the success of therapeutical approaches to induce the expression of dystrophin. The aim of my study was to verify whether the newly formed dystrophin triggers an immune response in the mdx mouse. The Tibialis anterior (TA) muscle of mdx (dystrophic) and Rag/mdx (dystrophic, lymphopenic) mice were first examined by immunohistochemical staining to compare the number of revertant fibers present in immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice. This study allowed us to evaluate the influence of the immune system on the presence of revertant fibers. The presence of a potential cellular immune response against dystrophin was then investigated in vivo. Splenocytes from mdx and 10J mice were transferred intravenously into Rag and Rag/mdx. The muscules of these mice were examined by immunohistochemical staining to detect the presence of immune cellular infiltration around the revertant fibers. Finally, to study the humoral response, I examined sera from mdx mice using immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting to check for antibodies against dystrophin. My research showed that immunodeficient mice had a significantly higher number v of dystrophin-positive fibers, suggesting that the immune system is involved in the elimination of revertant fibers in immunocompetent mdx mice. In addition, T cells obtained from mdx mice and injected in Rag/mdx mice infiltrated muscles of Rag/mdx mice containing revertant fibers supporting the hypothesis that mdx mice do make a cellular immune response against the dystrophin revertant fibers. However, the mdx mouse serum did not contain any antibodies against dystrophin. These results suggest that revertant fibers do not induce an immune tolerance to the newly formed dystrophin, but on the contrary, they trigger the activation of the immune system. This activation results in a cell-mediated immunity but not a humoral immunity.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2012
Open Access Date: 18 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/23509
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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