The role of muscle activation pattern and calcineurin in acetylcholinesterase regulation in rat skeletal muscles

Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 02/2007; 27(5):1106-13. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4182-06.2007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) expression in fast rat muscles is approximately fourfold higher than in slow muscles. We examined whether different muscle activation patterns are responsible for this difference and whether the calcineurin signaling pathway is involved in AChE regulation. The slow soleus and fast extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were directly or indirectly stimulated by a tonic low-frequency or a phasic high-frequency pattern of electric impulses. The phasic, but not tonic, stimulation increased the AChE mRNA levels in denervated soleus muscles to those in the normal EDL and maintained high levels of AChE mRNA in denervated EDL muscles. Therefore, muscle activation pattern is the predominant regulator of extrajunctional AChE expression in rat muscles. Indirect phasic stimulation of innervated muscles, imposed on their natural pattern of neural activation, did not increase the AChE transcript levels in the soleus, whereas a 30% reduction was observed in the EDL muscles. A low number of impulses per day is therefore prerequisite for high AChE expression. Treatment by tacrolimus and cyclosporin A, two inhibitors of calcineurin (but not by a related substance rapamycin, which does not inhibit calcineurin), increased the levels of AChE transcripts in the control soleus muscles and in tonically electrically stimulated soleus and EDL muscles, even to reach those in the control EDL muscles. Therefore, tonic muscle activation reduces the extrajunctional levels of AChE transcripts by activating the calcineurin signaling pathway. In denervated soleus and EDL muscles, tacrolimus did not prevent the reduction of AChE mRNA levels, indicating that a calcineurin-independent suppressive mechanism was involved.

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