Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a complex and severe orphan disease. It develops when the organism lacks the expression of dystrophin - a large structural protein. Dystrophin is transcribed from the largest gene in the human genome. At the moment, there is no cure available. Dozens of groups all over the world search for cure. Animal models are an important component of both the fundamental research and therapy development. Many animal models reproducing the features of disease were created and actively used since the late 80’s until present. The species diversity spans from invertebrates to primates and the genetic diversity of these models spans from single mutations to full gene deletions. The models are often non-interchangeable; while one model may be used for particular drug design it may be useless for another. Here we describe existing models, discuss their advantages and disadvantages and potential applications for research and therapy development.
Part of the book: Preclinical Animal Modeling in Medicine