Calcium-binding proteins in skeletal muscles of the mdx mice: potential role in the pathogenesis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
ABSTRACT Duchenne muscular dystrophy is one of the most common hereditary diseases. Abnormal ion handling renders dystrophic muscle fibers more susceptible to necrosis and a rise in intracellular calcium is an important initiating event in dystrophic muscle pathogenesis. In the mdx mice, muscles are affected with different intensities and some muscles are spared. We investigated the levels of the calcium-binding proteins calsequestrin and calmodulin in the non-spared axial (sternomastoid and diaphragm), limb (tibialis anterior and soleus), cardiac and in the spared extraocular muscles (EOM) of control and mdx mice. Immunoblotting analysis showed a significant increase of the proteins in the spared mdx EOM and a significant decrease in the most affected diaphragm. Both proteins were comparable to the cardiac muscle controls. In limb and sternomastoid muscles, calmodulin and calsequestrin were affected differently. These results suggest that differential levels of the calcium-handling proteins may be involved in the pathogenesis of myonecrosis in mdx muscles. Understanding the signaling mechanisms involving Ca(2+)-calmodulin activation and calsequestrin expression may be a valuable way to develop new therapeutic approaches to the dystrophinopaties.
Article: The mdx mouse diaphragm reproduces the degenerative changes of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although murine X-linked muscular dystrophy (mdx) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are genetically homologous and both characterized by a complete absence of dystrophin, the limb muscles of adult mdx mice suffer neither the detectable weakness nor the progressive degeneration that are features of DMD. Here we show that the mdx mouse diaphragm exhibits a pattern of degeneration, fibrosis and severe functional deficit comparable to that of DMD limb muscle, although adult mice show no overt respiratory impairment. Progressive functional changes include reductions in strength (to 13.5% of control by two years of age), elasticity, twitch speed and fibre length. The collagen density rises to at least seven times that of control diaphragm and ten times that of mdx hind-limb muscle. By 1.5 years of age, similar but less severe histological changes emerge in the accessory muscles of respiration. On the basis of these findings, we propose that dystrophin deficiency alters the threshold for work-induced injury. Our data provide a quantitative framework for studying the pathogenesis of dystrophy and extend the application of the mdx mouse as an animal model.Nature 09/1991; 352(6335):536-9. · 36.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dystrophin, the protein product of the gene responsible for X-linked muscular dystrophies, shares structural features with the cytoskeletal proteins spectrin and alpha-actinin. Like spectrin, it is localized at the cytoplasmic surface of the sarcolemma and is particularly concentrated in the subsynaptic region of the neuromuscular junction. Mdx mice have a profound deficiency of dystrophin and develop a necrotizing myopathy in the first weeks of life. Abnormalities of the neuromuscular junction, including a redistribution of postsynaptic molecules and reduction in synaptic folding, are also observed. We have studied these mice to see whether the lack of dystrophin has a specific effect on the structure and function of their neuromuscular junctions. Using a fore-limb muscle from 8 week old mdx mice we confirm the previously described postsynaptic structural changes and in addition show that many nerve terminals are abnormally complex. We demonstrate that these structural abnormalities are found exclusively at neuromuscular junctions on regenerated muscle fibres. Despite these structural abnormalities, miniature endplate potential frequency, the quantal content of endplate potentials, the amplitude and time course of miniature endplate currents and the number of acetylcholine receptors at the postsynaptic membrane are normal in mdx mice of this age. We conclude that in the mdx mouse the absence of dystrophin from the postsynaptic membrane has little direct effect on the function of the neuromuscular junction but that degeneration and regeneration of muscle fibres leads to remodelling of both its pre- and postsynaptic components.Journal of Neurocytology 01/1992; 20(12):969-81. · 1.94 Impact Factor
Article: Diltiazem and verapamil protect dystrophin-deficient muscle fibers of MDX mice from degeneration: a potential role in calcium buffering and sarcolemmal stability.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The lack of dystrophin in mdx mice and in Duchenne muscular dystrophy causes sarcolemmal breakdown and increased calcium influx followed by myonecrosis. We examined whether the calcium channel blockers diltiazem and verapamil protect dystrophic muscles from degeneration. Mdx mice received daily intraperitoneal injections of diltiazem or verapamil for 18 days, followed by removal of the sternomastoid, diaphragm, tibialis anterior, and cardiac muscles. Control mdx mice were injected with saline. Both drugs significantly decreased blood creatine kinase levels. Total calcium content was significantly higher in mdx muscles than in control C57Bl/10. Verapamil and diltiazem reduced total calcium content only in diaphragm and cardiac muscle. Histological analysis showed that diltiazem significantly attenuated myonecrosis in diaphragm. Immunoblots showed a significant increase of calsequestrin and beta-dystroglycan levels in some diltiazem- and verapamil-treated muscles. Possible interactions of these drugs with the sarcoplasmic reticulum and sarcolemma may also contribute to the improvement of the dystrophic phenotype.Muscle & Nerve 02/2009; 39(2):167-76. · 2.37 Impact Factor