Pharmacological activation of PPAR beta/delta stimulates utrophin A expression in skeletal muscle fibers and restores sarcolemmal integrity in mature mdx mice
ABSTRACT A therapeutic strategy to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) involves identifying compounds that can elevate utrophin A expression in muscle fibers of affected patients. The dystrophin homologue utrophin A can functionally substitute for dystrophin when its levels are enhanced in the mdx mouse model of DMD. Utrophin A expression in skeletal muscle is regulated by mechanisms that promote the slow myofiber program. Since activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) beta/delta promotes the slow oxidative phenotype in skeletal muscle, we initiated studies to determine whether pharmacological activation of PPARbeta/delta provides functional benefits to the mdx mouse. GW501516, a PPARbeta/delta agonist, was found to stimulate utrophin A mRNA levels in C2C12 muscle cells through an element in the utrophin A promoter. Expression of PPARbeta/delta was greater in skeletal muscles of mdx versus wild-type mice. We treated 5-7-week-old mdx mice with GW501516 for 4 weeks. This treatment increased the percentage of muscle fibers expressing slower myosin heavy chain isoforms and stimulated utrophin A mRNA levels leading to its increased expression at the sarcolemma. Expression of alpha1-syntrophin and beta-dystroglycan was restored to the sarcolemma. Improvement of mdx sarcolemmal integrity was evidenced by decreased intracellular IgM staining and decreased in vivo Evans blue dye (EBD) uptake. GW501516 treatment also conferred protection against eccentric contraction (ECC)-induced damage of mdx skeletal muscles, as shown by a decreased contraction-induced force drop and reduction of dye uptake during ECC. These results demonstrate that pharmacological activation of PPARbeta/delta might provide functional benefits to DMD patients through enhancement of utrophin A expression.
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ABSTRACT: The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, PPARα, PPARβ, and PPARγ, are a family of transcription factors activated by a diversity of molecules including fatty acids and fatty acid metabolites. PPARs regulate the transcription of a large variety of genes implicated in metabolism, inflammation, proliferation, and differentiation in different cell types. These transcriptional regulations involve both direct transactivation and interaction with other transcriptional regulatory pathways. The functions of PPARα and PPARγ have been extensively documented mainly because these isoforms are activated by molecules clinically used as hypolipidemic and antidiabetic compounds. The physiological functions of PPARβ remained for a while less investigated, but the finding that specific synthetic agonists exert beneficial actions in obese subjects uplifted the studies aimed to elucidate the roles of this PPAR isoform. Intensive work based on pharmacological and genetic approaches and on the use of both in vitro and in vivo models has considerably improved our knowledge on the physiological roles of PPARβ in various cell types. This review will summarize the accumulated evidence for the implication of PPARβ in the regulation of development, metabolism, and inflammation in several tissues, including skeletal muscle, heart, skin, and intestine. Some of these findings indicate that pharmacological activation of PPARβ could be envisioned as a therapeutic option for the correction of metabolic disorders and a variety of inflammatory conditions. However, other experimental data suggesting that activation of PPARβ could result in serious adverse effects, such as carcinogenesis and psoriasis, raise concerns about the clinical use of potent PPARβ agonists.Physiological Reviews 07/2014; 94(3):795-858. DOI:10.1152/physrev.00027.2013 · 29.04 Impact Factor
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