Mechanisms and Clinical Applications of Glucocorticoid Steroids in Muscular Dystrophy

Mattia Quattrocelli*, Aaron S. Zelikovich, Isabella M. Salamone, Julie A. Fischer, Elizabeth M. McNally

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoid steroids are widely used as immunomodulatory agents in acute and chronic conditions. Glucocorticoid steroids such as prednisone and deflazacort are recommended for treating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy where their use prolongs ambulation and life expectancy. Despite this benefit, glucocorticoid use in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is also associated with significant adverse consequences including adrenal suppression, growth impairment, poor bone health and metabolic syndrome. For other forms of muscular dystrophy like the limb girdle dystrophies, glucocorticoids are not typically used. Here we review the experimental evidence supporting multiple mechanisms of glucocorticoid action in dystrophic muscle including their role in dampening inflammation and myofiber injury. We also discuss alternative dosing strategies as well as novel steroid agents that are in development and testing, with the goal to reduce adverse consequences of prolonged glucocorticoid exposure while maximizing beneficial outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neuromuscular diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Glucocorticoid steroids
  • immunomodulation
  • metabolism
  • molecular signaling
  • muscle physiology
  • muscular dystrophy
  • neuromuscular diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms and Clinical Applications of Glucocorticoid Steroids in Muscular Dystrophy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this