Immunohistochemical analysis of the distribution of MyoD1 in muscle biopsies of primary myopathies and neurogenic atrophy

D. M. Parham, T. Bertorini, P. Dias, M. A.v. Wronski, P. Houghton, T. Bertorim, L. Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The expression of the myogenic determination gene MyoD1 plays a primary role in the commitment of primitive mesenchymal cells to a striated muscle lineage and is down-regulated during later stages of differentiation. To determine the potential role of this gene in myopathic conditions, we examined its expression by means of immunohistochemical analysis, using a series of muscle biopsies from 14 patients with a variety of primary myopathies and neurogenic disorders. Utilizing the avidin-biotin-complex technique, cryostat sections were stained with monoclonal antibody 5.8 A, which we have previously described as having a high level of specificity for tumors with rhabdomyoblastic differentiation. Of special interest was the observation in 4 of 8 cases of neurogenic atrophy of varying levels of cytoplasmic positivity of muscle fibers, appearing to correlate with their degree of atrophy, in addition to weak nuclear staining. Muscle biopsies from 2 patients with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and 2 patients with autoimmune inflammatory myopathies demonstrated various levels of nuclear positivity in scattered foci that appeared to correlate with areas of regeneration. A biopsy from a single case of neurogenic atrophy secondary to infantile spinal muscular atrophy (Werdnig-Hoffmann's disease) demonstrated diffuse but relatively weak staining of myofiber nuclei, in contrast to sections of normal striated muscle and muscle biopsies from patients with unexplained myoglobinuria, which exhibited only minimal amounts of staining. These data are compatible with observations that MyoD1 expression is related to electrical activity and muscle regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-611
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MyoD1
  • Myopathy
  • Neurogenic atrophy
  • Werdnig-Hoffmann's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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