Histopathologic Evolution of Cardiomyopathy in a Canine Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive X-linked disorder characterized for mutation in dystrophin gene and manifested by progressive degeneration and necrosis of skeletal and cardiac muscle with replacement leading to generalized muscular weakness and atrophy. The dog Golden Retriever Muscular Dystrophy (GRMD) is the best experimental model for DMD, with genotypic and phenotypic manifestations closely of human disease. Similar to patients with DMD, heart failure is a major cause of death in GRMD animals. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pathological progression of myocardial lesions from GRMD dogs in different ages in order to clarify the pathogenesis of Duchenne´s cardiomyopathy. Fragments of left and right ventricle and interventricular septum, from 18 GRMD dogs between 6 to 51 months were collected, fixed, dehydrated, clarified, and finally embedded in paraffin. Five micrometer thick serial sections were obtained and stained with Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE), Picrosirius red, and Von Kossa. Histological analyses were performed at the light microscopy. Myocardial lesions were observed in all GRMD dogs and the sequence of cardiac lesion classified according to according to the age included: abnormal calcium accumulation, myofibrillar necrosis, proliferation of granulation tissue, endomysial and perimysial fibrosis, and finally myocardial fatty infiltration. Interestingly, several Anitschkow cells, the hallmark of rheumatic carditis, were detected in inflammatory infiltrate present at granulation tissue. Our results demonstrate the sequence of cardiac lesions that determine the cardiomyopathy in Golden Retriever dogs affected by DMD and exhibit, for the first time, the Anitschkow cells in the histological findings of this cardiomyopathy. These results are relevant for to clarify the pathogenesis of cardiomyopathy in dogs and humans affected by DMD.
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