Dietary phosphorus overload aggravates the phenotype of the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse

Eiji Wada, Mizuko Yoshida, Yoriko Kojima, Ikuya Nonaka, Kazuya Ohashi, Yosuke Nagata, Masataka Shiozuka, Munehiro Date, Tetsuo Higashi, Ichizo Nishino, Ryoichi Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal X-linked disease with no effective treatment. Progressive muscle degeneration, increased macrophage infiltration, and ectopic calcification are characteristic features of the mdx mouse, a murine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Because dietary phosphorus/phosphate consumption is increasing and adverse effects of phosphate overloading have been reported in several disease conditions, we examined the effects of dietary phosphorus intake in mdx mice phenotypes. On weaning, control and mdx mice were fed diets containing 0.7, 1.0, or 2.0 g phosphorus per 100 g until they were 90 days old. Dystrophic phenotypes were evaluated in cryosections of quadriceps and tibialis anterior muscles, and maximal forces and voluntary activity were measured. Ectopic calcification was analyzed by electron microscopy to determine the cells initially responsible for calcium deposition in skeletal muscle. Dietary phosphorus overload dramatically exacerbated the dystrophic phenotypes of mdx mice by increasing inflammation associated with infiltration of M1 macrophages. In contrast, minimal muscle necrosis and inflammation were observed in exercised mdx mice fed a low-phosphorus diet, suggesting potential beneficial therapeutic effects of lowering dietary phosphorus intake on disease progression. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that dietary phosphorus intake directly affects muscle pathological characteristics of mdx mice. Dietary phosphorus overloading promoted dystrophic disease progression in mdx mice, whereas restricting dietary phosphorus intake improved muscle pathological characteristics and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3094-3104
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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