[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function mutations in the myotubularin gene (MTM1) cause X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), a fatal, congenital pediatric disease that affects the entire skeletal musculature. Systemic administration of a single dose of a recombinant serotype 8 adeno-associated virus (AAV8) vector expressing murine myotubularin to Mtm1-deficient knockout mice at the onset or at late stages of the disease resulted in robust improvement in motor activity and contractile force, corrected muscle pathology, and prolonged survival throughout a 6-month study. Similarly, single-dose intravascular delivery of a canine AAV8-MTM1 vector in XLMTM dogs markedly improved severe muscle weakness and respiratory impairment, and prolonged life span to more than 1 year in the absence of toxicity or a humoral or cell-mediated immune response. These results demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of AAV-mediated gene therapy for myotubular myopathy in small- and large-animal models, and provide proof of concept for future clinical trials in XLMTM patients.
Science translational medicine 01/2014; 6(220):220ra10. · 10.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy is the most common adult muscle dystrophy. In view of emerging therapies, which use animal models as a proof of principle, the development of reliable outcome measures for in vivo longitudinal study of mouse skeletal muscle function is becoming crucial. To satisfy this need, we have developed a device to measure ankle dorsi- and plantarflexion torque in rodents. We present an in vivo 8-month longitudinal study of the contractile properties of the skeletal muscles of the DMSXL mouse model of myotonic dystrophy type 1. Between 4 and 12months of age, we observed a reduction in muscle strength in the ankle dorsi- and plantarflexors of DMSXL compared to control mice although the strength per muscle cross-section was normal. Mild steady myotonia but no abnormal muscle fatigue was also observed in the DMSXL mice. Magnetic resonance imaging and histological analysis performed at the end of the study showed respectively reduced muscle cross-section area and smaller muscle fibre diameter in DMSXL mice. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the feasibility of carrying out longitudinal in vivo studies of muscle function over several months in a mouse model of myotonic dystrophy confirming the feasibility of this method to test preclinical therapeutics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Manipulation of the mouse genome by site-specific mutagenesis has been extensively used to study gene function and model human disorders. Mouse models of myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), a severe congenital muscular disorder due to loss-of-function mutations in the MTM1 gene, have been generated by homologous recombination and shown that myotubularin is essential for skeletal muscle. However, since the Mtm1 deletion occurred constitutively or shortly after birth in these mice, it is not known whether myotubularin is required during adulthood, an important issue not only in the context of muscle biology but also therapies. To delete the Mtm1 gene in adult muscle fibers, we constructed a recombinant adeno-associated vector (AAV) that expresses the Cre recombinase under the muscle-specific desmin promoter. We report that a single injection of this vector into muscles of 3 month-old Mtm1 conditional mice leads to a myotubular myopathy phenotype with myofiber atrophy, disorganization of organelle positioning, such as mitochondria and nuclei, T-tubule defects and severe muscle weakness. In addition, our results show that MTM1-related atrophy and dysfunction correlates with abnormalities in satellite cell number and markers of autophagy, protein synthesis and neuromuscular junction transmission. The expression level of atrogenes was also analyzed. Therefore, we provide a valuable tissue model that recapitulates the main features of the disease, and it is useful to study pathogenesis and evaluate therapeutic strategies. We establish the proof-of-concept that myotubularin is required for the proper function of skeletal muscle during adulthood, suggesting that therapies will be required for the entire life of XLMTM patients.
Human Molecular Genetics 02/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by an unstable CTG repeat expansion in the 3'UTR of the DM protein kinase (DMPK) gene. DMPK transcripts carrying CUG expansions form nuclear foci and affect splicing regulation of various RNA transcripts. Furthermore, bidirectional transcription over the DMPK gene and non-conventional RNA translation of repeated transcripts have been described in DM1. It is clear now that this disease may involve multiple pathogenic pathways including changes in gene expression, RNA stability and splicing regulation, protein translation, and micro-RNA metabolism. We previously generated transgenic mice with 45-kb of the DM1 locus and >300 CTG repeats (DM300 mice). After successive breeding and a high level of CTG repeat instability, we obtained transgenic mice carrying >1,000 CTG (DMSXL mice). Here we described for the first time the expression pattern of the DMPK sense transcripts in DMSXL and human tissues. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that DMPK antisense transcripts are expressed in various DMSXL and human tissues, and that both sense and antisense transcripts accumulate in independent nuclear foci that do not co-localize together. Molecular features of DM1-associated RNA toxicity in DMSXL mice (such as foci accumulation and mild missplicing), were associated with high mortality, growth retardation, and muscle defects (abnormal histopathology, reduced muscle strength, and lower motor performances). We have found that lower levels of IGFBP-3 may contribute to DMSXL growth retardation, while increased proteasome activity may affect muscle function. These data demonstrate that the human DM1 locus carrying very large expansions induced a variety of molecular and physiological defects in transgenic mice, reflecting DM1 to a certain extent. As a result, DMSXL mice provide an animal tool to decipher various aspects of the disease mechanisms. In addition, these mice can be used to test the preclinical impact of systemic therapeutic strategies on molecular and physiological phenotypes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by the lack of dystrophin that leads to severe myofiber degeneration. We have shown that endomysial fibrosis is correlated with age at ambulation loss in DMD patients. However, the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse does not have fibrotic lesions in adult limb muscles. Here, we describe a model of chronic mechanical muscle injury that triggers chronic lesions in mdx hindlimb muscle.
Micromechanical injuries were performed daily in tibialis anterior muscles for 2 weeks.
Endomysial fibrosis appeared beginning 1 week post-injury, remained stable for 3 months and was associated with loss of specific maximal force. Fibrosis was associated with an increased expression of factors involved in fibrogenesis including α-smooth muscle actin, connective tissue growth factor, and lysyl oxidase, which colocalized with collagen deposits.
This induced fibrotic dystrophic model may be useful to study mechanisms of fibrosis in dystrophinopathies and to evaluate antifibrotic treatments.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of locomotor training (LT) on skeletal muscle after peripheral nerve injury and acetylcholinesterase deficiency are not well documented.
We determined the effects of LT on mouse soleus muscle performance after sciatic nerve transection with excision (full and permanent denervation), nerve transection (partial functional reinnervation), nerve crush (full denervation with full functional reinnervation), and acetylcholinesterase deficiency (alteration in neuromuscular junction functioning).
We found no significant effect of LT on the recovery of soleus muscle weight, maximal force in response to muscle stimulation, and fatigue resistance after nerve transection with or without excision. However, LT significantly increased soleus muscle fatigue resistance after nerve crush and acetylcholinesterase deficiency. Moreover, hindlimb immobilization significantly aggravated the deficit in soleus muscle maximal force production and atrophy after nerve crush.
LT is beneficial, and reduced muscle use is detrimental for intrinsic muscle performance in the context of disturbed nerve-muscle communication.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dystrophin contributes to force transmission and has a protein-scaffolding role for a variety of signaling complexes in skeletal muscle. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the muscle adaptive response following mechanical overloading (ML) would be decreased in MDX dystrophic muscle lacking dystrophin. We found that the gains in muscle maximal force production and fatigue resistance in response to ML were both reduced in MDX mice as compared to healthy mice. MDX muscle also exhibited decreased cellular and molecular muscle remodeling (hypertrophy and promotion of slower/oxidative fiber type) in response to ML, and altered intracellular signalings involved in muscle growth and maintenance (mTOR, myostatin, follistatin, AMPKα1, REDD1, atrogin-1, Bnip3). Moreover, dystrophin rescue via exon skipping restored the adaptive response to ML. Therefore our results demonstrate that the adaptive response in response to ML is impaired in dystrophic MDX muscle, most likely because of the dystrophin crucial role.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35346. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy is the most common muscular dystrophy in adults and the first recognized example of an RNA-mediated disease. Congenital myotonic dystrophy (CDM1) and myotonic dystrophy of type 1 (DM1) or of type 2 (DM2) are caused by the expression of mutant RNAs containing expanded CUG or CCUG repeats, respectively. These mutant RNAs sequester the splicing regulator Muscleblind-like-1 (MBNL1), resulting in specific misregulation of the alternative splicing of other pre-mRNAs. We found that alternative splicing of the bridging integrator-1 (BIN1) pre-mRNA is altered in skeletal muscle samples of people with CDM1, DM1 and DM2. BIN1 is involved in tubular invaginations of membranes and is required for the biogenesis of muscle T tubules, which are specialized skeletal muscle membrane structures essential for excitation-contraction coupling. Mutations in the BIN1 gene cause centronuclear myopathy, which shares some histopathological features with myotonic dystrophy. We found that MBNL1 binds the BIN1 pre-mRNA and regulates its alternative splicing. BIN1 missplicing results in expression of an inactive form of BIN1 lacking phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate-binding and membrane-tubulating activities. Consistent with a defect of BIN1, muscle T tubules are altered in people with myotonic dystrophy, and membrane structures are restored upon expression of the normal splicing form of BIN1 in muscle cells of such individuals. Finally, reproducing BIN1 splicing alteration in mice is sufficient to promote T tubule alterations and muscle weakness, a predominant feature of myotonic dystrophy.
Nature medicine 06/2011; 17(6):720-5. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selenium is an essential trace element and selenoprotein N (SelN) was the first selenium-containing protein shown to be directly involved in human inherited diseases. Mutations in the SEPN1 gene, encoding SelN, cause a group of muscular disorders characterized by predominant affection of axial muscles. SelN has been shown to participate in calcium and redox homeostasis, but its pathophysiological role in skeletal muscle remains largely unknown. To address SelN function in vivo, we generated a Sepn1-null mouse model by gene targeting. The Sepn1(-/-) mice had normal growth and lifespan, and were macroscopically indistinguishable from wild-type littermates. Only minor defects were observed in muscle morphology and contractile properties in SelN-deficient mice in basal conditions. However, when subjected to challenging physical exercise and stress conditions (forced swimming test), Sepn1(-/-) mice developed an obvious phenotype, characterized by limited motility and body rigidity during the swimming session, as well as a progressive curvature of the spine and predominant alteration of paravertebral muscles. This induced phenotype recapitulates the distribution of muscle involvement in patients with SEPN1-Related Myopathy, hence positioning this new animal model as a valuable tool to dissect the role of SelN in muscle function and to characterize the pathophysiological process.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23094. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant centronuclear myopathy (AD-CNM) is due to mutations in the gene encoding dynamin 2 (DNM2) involved in endocytosis and intracellular membrane trafficking. To understand the pathomechanisms resulting from a DNM2 mutation, we generated a knock-in mouse model expressing the most frequent AD-CNM mutation (KI-Dnm2(R465W)). Heterozygous (HTZ) mice developed a myopathy showing a specific spatial and temporal muscle involvement. In the primarily and prominently affected tibialis anterior muscle, impairment of the contractile properties was evidenced at weaning and was progressively associated with atrophy and histopathological abnormalities mainly affecting mitochondria and reticular network. Expression of genes involved in ubiquitin-proteosome and autophagy pathways was up-regulated during DNM2-induced atrophy. In isolated muscle fibers from wild-type and HTZ mice, Dnm2 localized in regions of intense membrane trafficking (I-band and perinuclear region), emphasizing the pathophysiological hypothesis in which DNM2-dependent trafficking would be altered. In addition, HTZ fibers showed an increased calcium concentration as well as an intracellular Dnm2 and dysferlin accumulation. A similar dysferlin retention, never reported so far in congenital myopathies, was also demonstrated in biopsies from DNM2-CNM patients and can be considered as a new marker to orientate direct genetic testing. Homozygous (HMZ) mice died during the first hours of life. Impairment of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, demonstrated in HMZ embryonic fibroblasts, could be the cause of lethality. Overall, this first mouse model of DNM2-related myopathy shows the crucial role of DNM2 in muscle homeostasis and will be a precious tool to study DNM2 functions in muscle, pathomechanisms of DNM2-CNM and developing therapeutic strategies.
Human Molecular Genetics 12/2010; 19(24):4820-36. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anabolic effects of androgens on skeletal muscles are thought to be mediated predominantly through the androgen receptor (AR), a member of the ligand-dependent nuclear receptor superfamily. However, despite numerous studies performed in men and in rodents, these effects remain poorly understood. To characterize androgen signaling in skeletal muscles, we generated mice in which the AR is selectively ablated in myofibers. We show that myocytic AR controls androgen-induced insulin-like growth factor IEa (IGF-IEa) expression in the highly androgen-sensitive perineal muscles and that it mediates androgen-stimulated postnatal hypertrophy of these muscles. In contrast, androgen-dependent postnatal hypertrophy of limb muscle fibers is independent of myocytic AR. Thus, androgens control perineal and limb muscle mass in male mice through myocytic AR-dependent and -independent pathways, respectively. Importantly, we also show that AR deficiency in limb myocytes impairs myofibrillar organization of sarcomeres and decreases muscle strength, thus demonstrating that myocytic AR controls key pathways required for maximum force production. These distinct androgen signaling pathways in perineal and limb muscles may allow the design of screens to identify selective androgen modulators of muscle strength.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(32):14327-32. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measuring the DNA telomere length of skeletal muscle in experienced endurance runners may contribute to our understanding of the effects of chronic exposure to endurance exercise on skeletal muscle. This study compared the minimum terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length in the vastus lateralis muscle of 18 experienced endurance runners (mean age: 42 +/- 7 years) to those of 19 sedentary individuals (mean age: 39 +/- 10 years). The runners had covered almost 50,000 km in training and racing over 15 years. Minimum TRF lengths measured in the muscle of both groups were similar (P = 0.805) and within the normal range. Minimum TRF length in the runners, however, was inversely related to their years spent running (r = -0.63, P = 0.007) and hours spent training (r = -0.52, P = 0.035). Therefore, since exposure to endurance running may influence minimum TRF length, and by implication, the proliferative potential of the satellite cells, chronic endurance running may be seen as a stressor to skeletal muscle.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is characterized by muscular atrophy, fibrosis, and fat accumulation. Several groups have demonstrated that in the mdx mouse, the exon-skipping strategy can restore a quasi-dystrophin in almost 100% of the muscle fibers. On the other hand, inhibition of the myostatin pathway in adult mice has been described to enhance muscle growth and improve muscle force. Our aim was to combine these two strategies to evaluate a possible additive effect. We have chosen to inhibit the myostatin pathway using the technique of RNA interference directed against the myostatin receptor AcvRIIb mRNA (sh-AcvRIIb). The restoration of a quasi-dystrophin was mediated by the vectorized U7 exon-skipping technique (U7-DYS). Adeno-associated vectors carrying either the sh-AcvrIIb construct alone, the U7-DYS construct alone, or a combination of both constructs were injected in the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle of dystrophic mdx mice. We show that even if each separate approach has some effects on muscle physiology, the combination of the dystrophin rescue and the downregulation of the myostatin receptor is required to massively improve both the tetanic force and the specific force. This study provides a novel pharmacogenetic strategy for treatment of certain neuromuscular diseases associated with muscle wasting.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a neuromuscular disease caused by the expansion of a CTG repeat in the DMPK gene and characterised by progressive skeletal muscle weakness and wasting. To investigate the effects of the CTG expansion on the physiological function of the skeletal muscles, we have used a transgenic mouse model carrying the human DM1 region with 550 expanded CTG repeats. Maximal force is reduced in the skeletal muscles of 10-month-old but not in 3-month-old DM1 mice when compared to age-matched non-transgenic littermates. The progressive weakness observed in the DM1 mice is directly related to the reduced muscle mass and muscle fibre size. A significant increase in trypsin-like proteasome activity and Fbxo32 expression is also measured in the DM1 muscles indicating that an atrophic process mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway may contribute to the progressive muscle wasting and weakness in the DM1 mice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disorder characterized by ptosis, dysphagia and proximal limb weakness. Autosomal-dominant OPMD is caused by a short (GCG)(8-13) expansions within the first exon of the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 gene (PABPN1), leading to an expanded polyalanine tract in the mutated protein. Expanded PABPN1 forms insoluble aggregates in the nuclei of skeletal muscle fibres. In order to gain insight into the different physiological processes affected in OPMD muscles, we have used a transgenic mouse model of OPMD (A17.1) and performed transcriptomic studies combined with a detailed phenotypic characterization of this model at three time points. The transcriptomic analysis revealed a massive gene deregulation in the A17.1 mice, among which we identified a significant deregulation of pathways associated with muscle atrophy. Using a mathematical model for progression, we have identified that one-third of the progressive genes were also associated with muscle atrophy. Functional and histological analysis of the skeletal muscle of this mouse model confirmed a severe and progressive muscular atrophy associated with a reduction in muscle strength. Moreover, muscle atrophy in the A17.1 mice was restricted to fast glycolytic fibres, containing a large number of intranuclear inclusions (INIs). The soleus muscle and, in particular, oxidative fibres were spared, even though they contained INIs albeit to a lesser degree. These results demonstrate a fibre-type specificity of muscle atrophy in this OPMD model. This study improves our understanding of the biological pathways modified in OPMD to identify potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2010; 19(11):2191-207. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The alpha1S subunit has a dual function in skeletal muscle: it forms the L-type Ca(2+) channel in T-tubules and is the voltage sensor of excitation-contraction coupling at the level of triads. It has been proposed that L-type Ca(2+) channels might also be voltage-gated sensors linked to transcriptional activity controlling differentiation. By using the U7-exon skipping strategy, we have achieved long-lasting downregulation of alpha1S in adult skeletal muscle. Treated muscles underwent massive atrophy while still displaying significant amounts of alpha1S in the tubular system and being not paralysed. This atrophy implicated the autophagy pathway, which was triggered by neuronal nitric oxide synthase redistribution, activation of FoxO3A, upregulation of autophagy-related genes and autophagosome formation. Subcellular investigations showed that this atrophy was correlated with the disappearance of a minor fraction of alpha1S located throughout the sarcolemma. Our results reveal for the first time that this sarcolemmal fraction could have a role in a signalling pathway determining muscle anabolic or catabolic state and might act as a molecular sensor of muscle activity.
The EMBO Journal 02/2010; 29(3):643-54. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The muscles of mdx mice progressively deteriorate with age. We wanted to know whether this is associated with a decrease in regenerative capacity and/or changes in the mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTOR) signaling pathway. Muscles of mdx mice aged 5 weeks, 5, 12, and 18-24 months were studied. Maximal force and muscle weight of the older mice were decreased as compared to younger adult mice. Activation of the mTOR signaling pathway, i.e., phosphorylation of Akt (also known as protein kinase B) and ribosomal protein S6 was also reduced in the older mice. Moreover, 14 days after cardiotoxin injury the degree of recovery of maximal force and muscle weight were less in the older mice. In contrast to younger mice, there was also activation of the mTOR pathway during regeneration in the older mice. Progressive muscle weakness and atrophy in mdx mouse muscle is associated with a decline in regenerative potential and changes in activation of the mTOR signaling pathway.