Muscle Damage in Dystrophic mdx Mice Is Influenced by the Activity of Ca2+-Activated KCa 3.1 Channels

Marta Morotti, Stefano Garofalo, Germana Cocozza, Fabrizio Antonangeli, Valeria Bianconi, Chiara Mozzetta, Maria Egle De Stefano, Riccardo Capitani, Heike Wulff, Cristina Limatola, Myriam Catalano, Francesca Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked disease, caused by a mutant dys-trophin gene, leading to muscle membrane instability, followed by muscle inflammation, infiltration of pro-inflammatory macrophages and fibrosis. The calcium-activated potassium channel type 3.1 (KCa 3.1) plays key roles in controlling both macrophage phenotype and fibroblast proliferation, two critical contributors to muscle damage. In this work, we demonstrate that pharmacological blockade of the channel in the mdx mouse model during the early degenerative phase favors the acquisition of an anti-inflammatory phenotype by tissue macrophages and reduces collagen deposi-tion in muscles, with a concomitant reduction of muscle damage. As already observed with other treatments, no improvement in muscle performance was observed in vivo. In conclusion, this work supports the idea that KCa 3.1 channels play a contributing role in controlling damage-causing cells in DMD. A more complete understanding of their function could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number538
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • fiber size
  • fibroblasts
  • fibrosis
  • grip strength
  • hanging time
  • K 3.1
  • Kcnn4
  • macrophages
  • neuromuscular junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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