[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked human disorder in which absence of the protein dystrophin causes degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscle. For the sake of treatment development, over and above definitive genetic and cell-based therapies, there is considerable interest in drugs that target downstream disease mechanisms. Drug candidates have typically been chosen based on the nature of pathologic lesions and presumed underlying mechanisms and then tested in animal models. Mammalian dystrophinopathies have been characterized in mice (mdx mouse) and dogs (golden retriever muscular dystrophy [GRMD]). Despite promising results in the mdx mouse, some therapies have not shown efficacy in DMD. Although the GRMD model offers a higher hurdle for translation, dogs have primarily been used to test genetic and cellular therapies where there is greater risk. Failed translation of animal studies to DMD raises questions about the propriety of methods and models used to identify drug targets and test efficacy of pharmacologic intervention. The mdx mouse and GRMD dog are genetically homologous to DMD but not necessarily analogous. Subcellular species differences are undoubtedly magnified at the whole-body level in clinical trials. This problem is compounded by disparate cultures in clinical trials and preclinical studies, pointing to a need for greater rigor and transparency in animal experiments. Molecular assays such as mRNA arrays and genome-wide association studies allow identification of genetic drug targets more closely tied to disease pathogenesis. Genes in which polymorphisms have been directly linked to DMD disease progression, as with osteopontin, are particularly attractive targets.
ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 06/2014; 55(1):119-49. DOI:10.1093/ilar/ilu011 · 2.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both Duchenne and golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD) are caused by dystrophin deficiency. The Duchenne muscular dystrophy sartorius muscle and orthologous GRMD cranial sartorius (CS) are relatively spared/hypertrophied. We completed hierarchical clustering studies to define molecular mechanisms contributing to this differential involvement and their role in the GRMD phenotype. GRMD dogs with larger CS muscles had more severe deficits, suggesting that selective hypertrophy could be detrimental. Serial biopsies from the hypertrophied CS and other atrophied muscles were studied in a subset of these dogs. Myostatin showed an age-dependent decrease and an inverse correlation with the degree of GRMD CS hypertrophy. Regulators of myostatin at the protein (AKT1) and miRNA (miR-539 and miR-208b targeting myostatin mRNA) levels were altered in GRMD CS, consistent with down-regulation of myostatin signaling, CS hypertrophy, and functional rescue of this muscle. mRNA and proteomic profiling was used to identify additional candidate genes associated with CS hypertrophy. The top-ranked network included α-dystroglycan and like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase. Proteomics demonstrated increases in myotrophin and spectrin that could promote hypertrophy and cytoskeletal stability, respectively. Our results suggest that multiple pathways, including decreased myostatin and up-regulated miRNAs, α-dystroglycan/like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, spectrin, and myotrophin, contribute to hypertrophy and functional sparing of the CS. These data also underscore the muscle-specific responses to dystrophin deficiency and the potential deleterious effects of differential muscle involvement.
American Journal Of Pathology 11/2013; 183(5):1411-24. DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2013.07.013 · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the pharmacokinetics of a novel bioadhesive gel formulation of midazolam after intranasal (IN) administration with that of midazolam solution after IN, IV, and rectal administration to dogs.
10 (5 males and 5 females) healthy adult Beagles.
Dogs were assigned to 4 treatment groups for a crossover study design. Initially, midazolam solution (5 mg/mL) was administered (0.2 mg/kg) IV to group 1, rectally to group 2, and IN to group 3; a 0.4% hydroxypropyl methylcellulose midazolam gel formulation (50 mg/mL) was administered (0.2 mg/kg, IN) to group 4. Each dog received all 4 treatments; there was a 7-day washout period between subsequent treatments. Blood samples were collected before and after midazolam administration. Plasma concentration of midazolam was determined by use of high-performance liquid chromatography.
The peak plasma concentration after IN administration of the gel formulation was significantly higher than that after IN and rectal administration of the solution. Mean ± SD time to peak concentration was 11.70 ± 2.63 minutes (gel IN), 17.50 ± 2.64 minutes (solution IN), and 39 ± 14.49 minutes (solution rectally). Mean bioavailability of midazolam was 70.4% (gel IN), 52.0% (solution IN), and 49.0% (solution rectally). Bioavailability after IN administration of the gel formulation was significantly higher than that after IN and rectal administration of the solution.
IN administration of midazolam gel was superior to both IN and rectal administration of midazolam solution with respect to peak plasma concentration and bioavailability.
American Journal of Veterinary Research 04/2012; 73(4):539-45. DOI:10.2460/ajvr.73.4.539 · 1.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the dystrophin gene cause Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy in humans and syndromes in mice, dogs, and cats. Affected humans and dogs have progressive disease that leads primarily to muscle atrophy. Mdx mice progress through an initial phase of muscle hypertrophy followed by atrophy. Cats have persistent muscle hypertrophy. Hypertrophy in humans has been attributed to deposition of fat and connective tissue (pseudohypertrophy). Increased muscle mass (true hypertrophy) has been documented in animal models. Muscle hypertrophy can exaggerate postural instability and joint contractures. Deleterious consequences of muscle hypertrophy should be considered when developing treatments for muscular dystrophy.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 02/2012; 23(1):149-72, xii. DOI:10.1016/j.pmr.2011.11.014 · 0.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder in which the loss of dystrophin causes progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Potential therapies that carry substantial risk, such as gene- and cell-based approaches, must first be tested in animal models, notably the mdx mouse and several dystrophin-deficient breeds of dogs, including golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD). Affected dogs have a more severe phenotype, in keeping with that of DMD, so may better predict disease pathogenesis and treatment efficacy. Various phenotypic tests have been developed to characterize disease progression in the GRMD model. These biomarkers range from measures of strength and joint contractures to magnetic resonance imaging. Some of these tests are routinely used in clinical veterinary practice, while others require specialized equipment and expertise. By comparing serial measurements from treated and untreated groups, one can document improvement or delayed progression of disease. Potential treatments for DMD may be broadly categorized as molecular, cellular, or pharmacologic. The GRMD model has increasingly been used to assess efficacy of a range of these therapies. A number of these studies have provided largely general proof-of-concept for the treatment under study. Others have demonstrated efficacy using the biomarkers discussed. Importantly, just as symptoms in DMD vary among patients, GRMD dogs display remarkable phenotypic variation. Though confounding statistical analysis in preclinical trials, this variation offers insight regarding the role that modifier genes play in disease pathogenesis. By correlating functional and mRNA profiling results, gene targets for therapy development can be identified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this review is to describe and evaluate both conventional and molecular diagnostic testing utilized in dogs and cats with acute neurologic diseases. Various types of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are explored along with novel molecular diagnostic testing that ultimately may prove useful in the critical care setting.
PUBMED was searched to obtain relevant references material using keywords: 'canine OR feline meningitis AND meningoencephalitis,''feline infectious peritonitis,''canine distemper,''canine OR feline AND toxoplasma,''canine neospora,''canine OR feline AND rickettsia,''granulomatous meningoencephalitis,''steroid responsive meningitis arteritis,''necrotizing encephalitis,''novel neurodiagnostics,''canine OR feline AND CNS borrelia,''canine OR feline AND CNS bartonella,''canine OR feline AND CNS fungal,''nested OR multiplex OR degenerate OR consensus OR CODEHOP AND PCR.' Research findings from the authors' laboratory and current veterinary textbooks also were utilized.
Molecular diagnostic testing including conventional, real-time, and consensus and degenerate PCR and microarray analysis are utilized routinely for the antemortem diagnosis of infectious meningoencephalitis (ME) in humans. Recently, PCR using consensus degenerate hybrid primers (CODEHOP) has been used to identify and characterize a number of novel human viruses.
Molecular diagnostic testing such as conventional and real-time PCR aid in the diagnosis of several important central nervous system infectious agents including canine distemper virus, Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, rickettsial species, and others. Recently, broadly reactive consensus and degenerate PCR reactions have been applied to canine ME including assays for rickettsial organisms, Borrelia spp. and Bartonella spp., and various viral families.
In the acute neurologic patient, there are several key infectious diseases that can be pursued by a combination of conventional and molecular diagnostic testing. It is important that the clinician understands the utility, as well as the limitations, of the various neurodiagnostic tests that are available.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vector-transmitted microorganisms in the genera Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia, Bartonella, and Borrelia are commonly suspected in dogs with meningoencephalomyelitis (MEM), but the prevalence of these pathogens in brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of dogs with MEM is unknown.
To determine if DNA from these genera is present in brain tissue and CSF of dogs with MEM, including those with meningoencephalitis of unknown etiology (MUE) and histopathologically confirmed cases of granulomatous (GME) and necrotizing meningoencephalomyelitis (NME).
Hundred and nine dogs examined for neurological signs at 3 university referral hospitals.
Brain tissue and CSF were collected prospectively from dogs with neurological disease and evaluated by broadly reactive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia, Bartonella, and Borrelia species. Medical records were evaluated retrospectively to identify MEM and control cases.
Seventy-five cases of MUE, GME, or NME, including brain tissue from 31 and CSF from 44 cases, were evaluated. Brain tissue from 4 cases and inflammatory CSF from 30 cases with infectious, neoplastic, compressive, vascular, or malformative disease were evaluated as controls. Pathogen nucleic acids were detected in 1 of 109 cases evaluated. Specifically, Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii DNA was amplified from 1/6 dogs with histopathologically confirmed GME.
The results of this investigation suggest that microorganisms in the genera Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia, and Borrelia are unlikely to be directly associated with canine MEM in the geographic regions evaluated. The role of Bartonella in the pathogenesis of GME warrants further investigation.
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 01/2010; 24(2):372-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0466.x · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a correlate to physical examination in various myelopathies and a predictor of functional outcome.
To describe associations among MRI features, neurological dysfunction before MRI, and functional outcome in dogs with disk herniation.
One hundred and fifty-nine dogs with acute thoracolumbar disk herniation.
Retrospective case series. Signalment, initial neurological function as assessed by a modified Frankel score (MFS), and ambulatory outcome at hospital discharge and >3 months (long-term) follow-up were recorded from medical records and telephone interview of owners. Associations were estimated between these parameters and MRI signal and morphometric data.
Dogs with intramedullary T2W hyperintensity had more severe pre-MRI MFS (median 2, range 0-4) and lower ambulatory proportion at long-term follow-up (0.76) than those dogs lacking hyperintensity (median MFS 3, range 0-5; ambulatory proportion, 0.93) (P=.001 and .013, respectively). Each unit of T2W length ratio was associated with a 1.9 times lower odds of long-term ambulation when adjusted for pre-MRI MFS (95% confidence interval 1.0-3.52, P=.05). Dogs with a compressive length ratio >1.31 (which was the median ratio within this population) had more severe pre-MRI MFS (median 3, range 0-5) compared with those with ratios < or =1.31 (median MFS 3, range 0-4; P=.006).
MRI features were associated with initial injury severity in dogs with thoracolumbar disk herniation. Based on results of this study, the T2W length ratio and presence of T2W intramedullary hyperintensity appear to be predictive of long-term ambulatory status.
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 09/2009; 23(6):1220-6. DOI:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0393.x · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PRACTICAL RELEVANCE: Weakness is recognized somewhat infrequently in cats, but is an important manifestation of neurological disease. The clinician must perform a complete neurological examination to determine the neuroanatomic basis for the weakness. As for all species, the neuroanatomic diagnosis allows the clinician to generate an appropriate differential diagnosis, to design a diagnostic plan, to prognosticate, and ultimately to develop a treatment plan. CLINICAL CHALLENGES: The cause(s) of neurological weakness in the cat may be difficult to determine without access to advanced imaging modalities, cerebrospinal fluid analysis or electrodiagnostics. However, an accurate neuroanatomic diagnosis allows the clinician to pursue preliminary anomalous (vertebral anomalies), metabolic (eg, diabetes mellitus, electrolyte abnormalities) and neoplastic differentials via blood work, vertebral column and thoracic radiography, and abdominal ultrasound. Subsequently, referral to a specialty veterinary hospital may be warranted to pursue advanced neurodiagnostics. AUDIENCE: This review provides a framework for generating a neuroanatomic and differential diagnosis in the weak cat. It also discusses the pathogenesis and clinical signs associated with the most common neurological differentials for feline paresis. As such, it is aimed at both primary health care and specialty veterinarians. PATIENT GROUP: The neurological conditions discussed in this review cause weakness in cats of all age groups.
Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 06/2009; 11(5):373-83. DOI:10.1016/j.jfms.2009.03.005 · 1.16 Impact Factor