Micro-RNA expression in muscle and fiber morphometry in myotonic dystrophy type 1

Chiara Fritegotto, Chiara Ferrati, Valentina Pegoraro, Corrado Angelini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aimed to explore the cellular action of micro-RNAs that are non-coding-RNAs modulating gene expression, whose expression is dysregulated in myotonic dystrophy (DM1). Basic procedure was to measure the levels of muscle-specific myo-miRNAs (miR-1, miR-133a/b, miR-206) in muscle of 12 DM1 patients. Muscle fiber morphometry and a new grading of histopathological severity score were used to compare specific myo-miRNA level and fiber atrophy. We found that the levels of miR-1 and miR-133a/b were significantly decreased, while miR-206 was significantly increased as compared to controls. The histopathological score did not significantly correlate with the levels of myo-miRNAs, even if the lowest levels of miRNA-1 and miRNA-133a/b, and the highest levels of miRNA-206 were observed in patients with either severe histopathological scores or long disease duration. The histopathological score was inversely correlated with disease duration. Nowadays that DM1 muscle biopsies are scanty, since patients are usually diagnosed by genetic analysis, our study offers a unique opportunity to present miRNA expression profiles in muscle and correlate them to muscle morphology in this rare multisystem disorder. Our molecular and morphologic data suggest a post-transcriptional regulatory action of myo-miRNA in DM1, highlighting their potential role as biomarkers of muscle plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Adult
  • Atrophy
  • Biomarkers/metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs/metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism
  • Myotonic Dystrophy/metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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