Researchers have found a new drug that reduces fibrosis (scarring) and prevents loss of muscle function in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The researchers from Saint Louis University (SLU) in the US, in a paper published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, said this could provide a promising approach in designing new medications for those suffering from DMD. DMD is a fatal form of a muscle wasting disorder that is caused by mutations in a gene on the X chromosome. With treatment, those with DMD have an average lifespan of around 25 years. Boys with the illness typically need to use a wheelchair by age 12 and require mechanical ventilation to help with breathing. Many eventually suffer cardiac or respiratory failure.
Thomas Burris and Colin Flaveny from Saint Louis University aim to develop synthetic compounds to target these receptors in order to create drugs to treat diseases by understanding how the body’s natural hormones operate. “Recently, we found that REV-ERB appears to play unique roles for each stages of muscle tissue development,” Flaveny said. Read about muscle weakness.
REV-ERB regulates key processes in the body, from sleep to cholesterol, and, most recently, muscle regeneration.