Article

Assessment of disease activity in muscular dystrophies by noninvasive imaging.

The Journal of clinical investigation (Impact Factor: 15.39). 04/2013; DOI: 10.1172/JCI68458
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Muscular dystrophies are a class of disorders that cause progressive muscle wasting. A major hurdle for discovering treatments for the muscular dystrophies is a lack of reliable assays to monitor disease progression in animal models. We have developed a novel mouse model to assess disease activity noninvasively in mice with muscular dystrophies. These mice express an inducible luciferase reporter gene in muscle stem cells. In dystrophic mice, muscle stem cells activate and proliferate in response to muscle degeneration, resulting in an increase in the level of luciferase expression, which can be monitored by noninvasive, bioluminescence imaging. We applied this noninvasive imaging to assess disease activity in a mouse model of the human disease limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B (LGMD2B), caused by a mutation in the dysferlin gene. We monitored the natural history and disease progression in these dysferlin-deficient mice up to 18 months of age and were able to detect disease activity prior to the appearance of any overt disease manifestation by histopathological analyses. Disease activity was reflected by changes in luciferase activity over time, and disease burden was reflected by cumulative luciferase activity, which paralleled disease progression as determined by histopathological analysis. The ability to monitor disease activity noninvasively in mouse models of muscular dystrophy will be invaluable for the assessment of disease progression and the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
45 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The zebrafish has become a standard model system for stem cell and tissue regeneration research, based on powerful genetics, high tissue regenerative capacity and low maintenance costs. Yet, these studies can be challenged by current limitations of tissue visualization techniques in adult animals. Here we describe new imaging methodology and present several ubiquitous and tissue-specific luciferase-based transgenic lines, which we have termed zebraflash, that facilitate the assessment of regeneration and engraftment in freely moving adult zebrafish. We show that luciferase-based live imaging reliably estimates muscle quantity in an internal organ, the heart, and can longitudinally follow cardiac regeneration in individual animals after major injury. Furthermore, luciferase-based detection enables visualization and quantification of engraftment in live recipients of transplanted hematopoietic stem cell progeny, with advantages in sensitivity and gross spatial resolution over fluorescence detection. Our findings present a versatile resource for monitoring and dissecting vertebrate stem cell and regeneration biology.
    Development 11/2013; · 6.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. Among the key obstacles to the development of therapies is the absence of an assay to monitor disease progression in live animals. In this issue of the JCI, Maguire and colleagues use noninvasive bioluminescence imaging to monitor luciferase activity in mice expressing an inducible luciferase reporter gene in satellite cells. These cells proliferate in response to degeneration, therefore increasing the level of luciferase expression in dystrophic muscle.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 04/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Numerous human diseases can lead to atrophy of skeletal muscle, and loss of this tissue has been correlated with increased mortality and morbidity rates. Clinically addressing muscle atrophy remains an unmet medical need, and the development of preclinical tools to assist drug discovery and basic research in this effort is important for advancing this goal. In this report, we describe the development of a bioluminescent gene reporter rat, based on the zinc finger nuclease-targeted insertion of a bicistronic luciferase reporter into the 3' untranslated region of a muscle specific E3 ubiquitin ligase gene, MuRF1 (Trim63). In longitudinal studies, we noninvasively assess atrophy-related expression of this reporter in three distinct models of muscle loss (sciatic denervation, hindlimb unloading and dexamethasone-treatment) and show that these animals are capable of generating refined detail on in vivo MuRF1 expression with high temporal and anatomical resolution.
    PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e94032. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
0 Downloads
Available from