Intramuscular renin-angiotensin system is activated in human muscular dystrophy.
ABSTRACT To investigate the role of the muscular renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in human muscular dystrophy, we used immunohistochemistry and Western blotting to examine the cellular localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1) and the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2) in muscle biopsies from patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), and congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD). In normal muscle, ACE was expressed in vascular endothelial cells and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), whereas AT1 was immunolocalized to the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and intramuscular nerve twigs. AT2 was immunolocalized in the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels. These findings suggest that the RAS has a functional role in peripheral nerves and NMJs. ACE and AT1, but AT2 immunoreactivity were increased markedly in dystrophic muscle as compared to controls. ACE and the AT1 were strongly expressed in the cytoplasm and nuclei of regenerating muscle fibers, fibroblasts, and in macrophages infiltrating necrotic fibers. Double immunolabeling revealed that activated fibroblasts in the endomysium and perimysium of DMD and CMD muscle were positive for ACE and AT1. Triple immunolabeling demonstrated that transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) and ACE were colocalized on the cytoplasm of activated fibroblasts in dystrophic muscle. Furthermore, Western blotting showed increases in the expression of AT1 and TGF-beta1 protein in dystrophic muscle, which coincided with our immunohistochemical results. The overexpression of ACE and AT1 in dystrophic muscle would likely result in the increased production of Ang II, which may act on these cells in an autocrine manner via AT1. The activation of AT1 may induce fibrous tissue formation through overexpression of TGF-beta1, which potently activates fibrogenesis and suppresses regeneration. In conclusion, our results imply that the intramuscular RAS-TGF-beta1 pathway is activated in human muscular dystrophy and plays a role at least partly in the pathophysiology of this disease.
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ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked degenerative muscle disease caused by the absence of the microtubule-associated protein dystrophin, which results in a disorganized and denser microtubule cytoskeleton. In addition, mechanotransduction-dependent activation of calcium (Ca(2+)) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling underpins muscle degeneration in DMD. We show that in muscle from adult mdx mice, a model of DMD, a brief physiologic stretch elicited microtubule-dependent activation of NADPH (reduced-form nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase-dependent production of ROS, termed X-ROS. Further, X-ROS amplified Ca(2+) influx through stretch-activated channels in mdx muscle. Consistent with the importance of the microtubules to the dysfunction in mdx muscle, muscle cells with dense microtubule structure, such as those from adult mdx mice or from young wild-type mice treated with Taxol, showed increased X-ROS production and Ca(2+) influx, whereas cells with a less dense microtubule network, such as young mdx or adult mdx muscle treated with colchicine or nocodazole, showed little ROS production or Ca(2+) influx. In vivo treatments that disrupted the microtubule network or inhibited NADPH oxidase 2 reduced contraction-induced injury in adult mdx mice. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis identified increased expression of X-ROS-related genes in human DMD skeletal muscle. Together, these data show that microtubules are the proximate element responsible for the dysfunction in Ca(2+) and ROS signaling in DMD and could be effective therapeutic targets for intervention.Science Signaling 01/2012; 5(236):ra56. · 7.50 Impact Factor