There are interesting similarities and differences when comparing the histopathology of bovine marbling and human muscular dystrophy. At the simplest level, both conditions are characterized by genetically controlled and more or less inexorable replacement of muscle fibers with fat cells. At issue is whether an improved understanding of these two processes can lead to better outcomes for patients. There are many forms of dystrophy that differ in their genetics and their histopathology. There are also many forms of “marbling” ranging from the coarse to fine, epimysial, perimysial to endomysial and even to total replacement or steatosis. A detailed examination of marbling will provide a framework for further investigation of human dystrophy. Ultimately, the many genetic factors involved can be addressed through a better understanding of the metabolic pathways involved in marbling.
Part of the book: Muscular Dystrophies