Bioenergetic and Metabolic Impairments in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Generated from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients

Lubna Willi, Ifat Abramovich, Jonatan Fernandez-Garcia, Bella Agranovich, Margarita Shulman, Helena Milman, Polina Baskin, Binyamin Eisen, Daniel E. Michele, Michael Arad, Ofer Binah*, Eyal Gottlieb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in DMD patients. We tested the hypothesis that DCM is caused by metabolic impairments by employing induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) generated from four DMD patients; an adult male, an adult female, a 7-year-old (7y) male and a 13-year-old (13y) male, all compared to two healthy volunteers. To test the hypothesis, we measured the bioenergetics, metabolomics, electrophysiology, mitochondrial morphology and mitochondrial activity of CMs, using respirometry, LC–MS, patch clamp, electron microscopy (EM) and confocal microscopy methods. We found that: (1) adult DMD CMs exhibited impaired energy metabolism and abnormal mitochondrial structure and function. (2) The 7y CMs demonstrated arrhythmia-free spontaneous firing along with “healthy-like” metabolic status, normal mitochondrial morphology and activity. In contrast, the 13y CMs were mildly arrhythmogenic and showed adult DMD-like bioenergetics deficiencies. (3) In DMD adult CMs, mitochondrial activities were attenuated by 45–48%, whereas the 7y CM activity was similar to that of healthy CMs. (4) In DMD CMs, but not in 7y CMs, there was a 75% decrease in the mitochondrial ATP production rate compared to healthy iPSC-CMs. In summary, DMD iPSC-CMs exhibit bioenergetic and metabolic impairments that are associated with rhythm disturbances corresponding to the patient’s phenotype, thereby constituting novel targets for alleviating cardiomyopathy in DMD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9808
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022


FundersFunder number
Association Duchenne Israel580545317
Dr. Bernard Lublin FoundationATS#12026
Duchenne Parent Project Netherlands2029771
Niedersachsen Foundation3452
Rappaport Research Institute01012020RI
US–Israel Binational Foundation
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin DiseasesR01AR068428
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2019039
Israel Science Foundation824/19


    • DMD
    • bioenergetics
    • electrophysiology
    • iPSC-CMs
    • metabolism


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