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July 1976

Diethylstilbestrol Effects on Serum Enzymes and Isozymes in Muscular Dystrophy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago.

Arch Neurol. 1976;33(7):480-484. doi:10.1001/archneur.1976.00500070022004

• Diethylstilbestrol was administered orally to 11 boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities, characteristically high in DMD, and presumably of muscle origin, were reduced significantly (P <.05). On the other hand, the activity of alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme not of muscle origin, increased. These enzyme changes were reversible when diethylstilbestrol was discontinued. Despite appreciable alterations in total serum enzyme activity, no important change was found in the isozyme patterns. Piperazine estrone sulfate was administered to another patient with DMD. The effects of this physiologic hormone were, in part, similar to those of diethylstilbestrol. Experimentally, diethylstilbestrol reduced the efflux of CPK and LDH from mouse skeletal muscle. This may be the manner by which diethylstilbesterol reduced the serum enzyme levels in DMD, but this has not been proved directly. These studies are the first step in an effort to identify various agents that in combinations may normalize serum enzyme levels.