Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Therapies that restore dystrophin expression are presumed to correct Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), with antisense-mediated exon skipping being the leading approach. Here we aimed to determine whether exon skipping using a peptide-phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligonucleotide (PPMO) conjugate results in dose-dependent restoration of uniform dystrophin localization, together with correction of putative DMD serum and muscle biomarkers. Dystrophin-deficient mdx mice were treated with a PPMO (Pip9b2-PMO) designed to induce Dmd exon 23 skipping at single, ascending intravenous doses (3, 6, or 12 mg/kg) and sacrificed 2 weeks later. Dose-dependent exon skipping and dystrophin protein restoration were observed, with dystrophin uniformly distributed at the sarcolemma of corrected myofibers at all doses. Serum microRNA biomarkers (i.e., miR-1a-3p, miR-133a-3p, miR-206-3p, miR-483-3p) and creatinine kinase levels were restored toward wild-type levels after treatment in a dose-dependent manner. All biomarkers were strongly anti-correlated with both exon skipping level and dystrophin expression. Dystrophin rescue was also strongly positively correlated with muscle stiffness (i.e., Young's modulus) as determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation assay. These data demonstrate that PPMO-mediated exon skipping generates myofibers with uniform dystrophin expression and that both serum microRNA biomarkers and muscle AFM have potential utility as pharmacodynamic biomarkers of dystrophin restoration therapy in DMD.

Original publication




Journal article


Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids

Publication Date





955 - 968