Murine models of muscle diseases

We have developed a mouse model for the most common limb-girdle muscular dystrophy in Denmark (LGMD2I), a Fukutin-related protein (FKRP) L276I knock-in, as well as an FKRP knock-out (embryonic lethal) and hemizygous FKRP L276I knock-in. These models serve to understand how the relatively mild L276I mutation affects muscles over time, that FKRP is required for proper embryonic development and that deletion of FKRP on one allele does not affect the phenotype unlike a second pathological mutation. A conditional knock-out of FKRP in muscles will further our understanding of the importance of FKRP, not only in muscles but in the nervous system as well.

With collaborators in Spain and the creators of the model, we are investigating the physiology of the muscle glycogenosis V (McArdles disease) mouse model and how the metabolic signaling is altered in these mice and the effect on glycogen build-up.

As the main model for developing therapies to muscular dystrophies, we are using the Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model, the mdx mouse. We are developing therapies more broadly applicable to muscular dystrophies by focusing on how muscle regeneration can be boosted, rather than attempting to cure one particular muscular dystrophy. We have found that growth factor mediated activation of muscle stem cells leads to increased regeneration in the mdx mouse, a decrease in creatine kinase and an increase in muscle mass. We are currently investigating how the regeneration boosting therapy can be improved by circumventing the myostatin-mediated negative feedback on regeneration signaling.

All animals are housed at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences animal facility.


  • Nielsen TL, Pinós T, Brull A, Vissing J, Krag TO. Exercising with blocked muscle glycogenolysis: Adaptation in the McArdle mouse. 123, 21-27 (2018).
  • Krag TO, Pinos T, Nielsen TL, Andreu AL, Vissing J. Differentiated glucose metabolism in mice and humans affected by McArdle disease.  311, R307-14 (2016).
  • Krag TO, Pinos T, Nielsen TL, Brull A, Andreu AL, Vissing J. Differentiated muscle involvement in mice and humans affected by McArdles disease.  75, 441-454 (2016).
  • Krag TO & Vissing J. A new mouse model of Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy type 2I homozygous for the common L276I mutation mimicking the mild phenotype in humans.  74, 1137-46 (2015).
  • Hauerslev S, Vissing J, Krag TO. Muscle atrophy reversed by growth factor activation of satellite cells in a mouse muscle atrophy model.  9(6):e100594 (2014).