Utrophin deficiency worsens cardiac contractile dysfunction present in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice.
ABSTRACT The loss of dystrophin in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) causes devastating skeletal muscle degeneration and cardiomyopathy. Dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice have a much milder phenotype, whereas double knockout (DKO) mice lacking both dystrophin and its homolog, utrophin, exhibit the clinical signs observed in DMD patients. We have previously shown that DKO and mdx mice have similar severities of histological features of cardiomyopathy, but no contractile functional measurements of DKO heart have ever been carried out. To investigate whether DKO mice display cardiac dysfunction at the tissue level, contractile response of the myocardium was tested in small, unbranched, ultrathin, right ventricular muscles. Under near physiological conditions, peak isometric active developed tension (F(dev), in mN/mm2) at a stimulation frequency of 4 Hz was depressed in DKO mice (15.3 +/- 3.7, n = 8) compared with mdx mice (24.2 +/- 5.4, n = 7), which in turn were depressed compared with wild-type (WT) control mice (33.2 +/- 4.5, n = 7). This reduced Fdev was also observed at frequencies within the murine physiological range; at 12 Hz, Fdev was (in mN/mm2) 11.4 +/- 1.8 in DKO, 14.5 +/- 4.2 in mdx, and 28.8 +/- 5.4 in WT mice. The depression of Fdev was observed over the entire frequency range of 4-14 Hz and was significant between DKO versus mdx mice, as well as between DKO or mdx mice versus WT mice. Under beta-adrenergic stimulation (1 micromol/l isoproterenol), Fdev in DKO preparations was only (in mN/mm2) 14.7 +/- 5.1 compared with 30.9 +/- 8.9 in mdx and 41.0 +/- 4.9 in WT mice. These data show that cardiac contractile dysfunction of mdx mice is generally worsened in mice also lacking utrophin.
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ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal neuromuscular disease that affects boys and leads to early death. In the quest for new treatments that improve the quality of life and in the search for a possible definitive cure, the use of animal models plays undoubtedly an important role. Therefore, a number of different mammalian models for DMD have been described. Much knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease has arisen from studies in these animals. However, the use of different models does not often allow a direct comparison of results obtained in preclinical trials and therefore hinders a straightforward translational research. In the frame of "TREAT-NMD", a European Network of Excellence addressing the fragmentation in the assessment and treatment of neuromuscular diseases, we compare here the currently used mammalian animal models for DMD with the aim of selecting and recommending the most appropriate ones for preclinical efficacy testing of new therapeutic strategies.Neuromuscular Disorders 03/2009; 19(4):241-9. · 2.80 Impact Factor
Article: Improvement of cardiac contractile function by peptide-based inhibition of NF-κB in the utrophin/dystrophin-deficient murine model of muscular dystrophy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an inherited and progressive disease causing striated muscle deterioration. Patients in their twenties generally die from either respiratory or cardiac failure. In order to improve the lifespan and quality of life of DMD patients, it is important to prevent or reverse the progressive loss of contractile function of the heart. Recent studies by our labs have shown that the peptide NBD (Nemo Binding Domain), targeted at blunting Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) signaling, reduces inflammation, enhances myofiber regeneration, and improves contractile deficits in the diaphragm in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice. To assess whether cardiac function in addition to diaphragm function can be improved, we investigated physiological and histological parameters of cardiac muscle in mice deficient for both dystrophin and its homolog utrophin (double knockout = dko) mice treated with NBD peptide. These dko mice show classic pathophysiological hallmarks of heart failure, including myocyte degeneration, an impaired force-frequency response and a severely blunted β-adrenergic response. Cardiac contractile function at baseline and frequencies and pre-loads throughout the in vivo range as well as β-adrenergic reserve was measured in isolated cardiac muscle preparations. In addition, we studied histopathological and inflammatory markers in these mice. At baseline conditions, active force development in cardiac muscles from NBD treated dko mice was more than double that of vehicle-treated dko mice. NBD treatment also significantly improved frequency-dependent behavior of the muscles. The increase in force in NBD-treated dko muscles to β-adrenergic stimulation was robustly restored compared to vehicle-treated mice. However, histological features, including collagen content and inflammatory markers were not significantly different between NBD-treated and vehicle-treated dko mice. We conclude that NBD can significantly improve cardiac contractile dysfunction in the dko mouse model of DMD and may thus provide a novel therapeutic treatment for heart failure.Journal of Translational Medicine 01/2011; 9:68. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cardiomyocyte calcium overloading has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) heart disease. The cardiac isoform of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA2a) plays a major role in removing cytosolic calcium during heart muscle relaxation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that SERCA2a over-expression may mitigate electrocardiography (ECG) abnormalities in old female mdx mice, a murine model of DMD cardiomyopathy. 1 × 10(12) viral genome particles/mouse of adeno-associated virus serotype-9 (AAV-9) SERCA2a vector was delivered to 12-m-old female mdx mice (N = 5) via a single bolus tail vein injection. AAV transduction and the ECG profile were examined eight months later. The vector genome was detected in the hearts of all AAV-injected mdx mice. Immunofluorescence staining and western blot confirmed SERCA2a over-expression in the mdx heart. Untreated mdx mice showed characteristic tachycardia, PR interval reduction and QT interval prolongation. AAV-9 SERCA2a treatment corrected these ECG abnormalities. Our results suggest that AAV SERCA2a therapy may hold great promise in treating dystrophin-deficient heart disease.Journal of Translational Medicine 08/2011; 9:132. · 3.41 Impact Factor