Are you Stefanie Saenger?

Claim your profile

Publications (10)44.94 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress type 1 is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by progressive weakness and atrophy of the diaphragm and skeletal muscles, leading to death in childhood. No effective treatment is available. The neuromuscular degeneration (Nmd(2J)) mouse shares a crucial mutation in the immunoglobulin mu-binding protein 2 gene (Ighmbp2) with spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress type 1 patients and also displays some basic features of the human disease. This model serves as a promising tool in understanding the complex mechanisms of the disease and in exploring novel treatment modalities such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) which supports myogenic and neurogenic survival and stimulates differentiation during development. Here we investigated the treatment effects with polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 and its mechanisms of action in neurons and muscles. Polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 was applied subcutaneously every second day from post-natal Day 14 to post-natal Day 42 and the outcome was assessed by morphology, electromyography, and molecular studies. We found reduced IGF1 serum levels in Nmd(2J) mice 2 weeks after birth, which was normalized by polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 treatment. Nmd(2J) mice showed marked neurogenic muscle fibre atrophy in the gastrocnemius muscle and polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 treatment resulted in muscle fibre hypertrophy and slowed fibre degeneration along with significantly higher numbers of functionally active axonal sprouts. In the diaphragm with predominant myogenic changes a profound protection from muscle fibre degeneration was observed under treatment. No effects of polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 were monitored at the level of motor neuron survival. The beneficial effects of polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 corresponded to a marked activation of the IGF1 receptor, resulting in enhanced phosphorylation of Akt (protein kinase B) and the ribosomal protein S6 kinase in striated muscles and spinal cord from Nmd(2J) mice. Based on these findings, polyethylene glycol-coupled IGF1 may hold promise as a candidate for future treatment trials in human patients with spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress type 1.
    Brain 03/2014; · 9.92 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is composed of ligands and receptors which regulate cell proliferation, survival, differentiation and migration. Some of these functions involve regulation by the extracellular milieu, including binding proteins and other extracellular matrix proteins. However, the functions and exact nature of these interactions remain incomplete. IGF-I variants PEGylated at lysines K27, K65 and K68, were assessed for binding to IGFBPs using BIAcore, and for phosphorylation of the IGF-IR. Furthermore, functional consequences of PEGylation were investigated using cell viability and migration assays. In addition, downstream signaling pathways were analyzed using phospho-AKT and phospho-ERK1/2 assays. IGF-I PEGylated at lysine 27 (PEG-K27), 65 (PEG-K65) or 68 (PEG-K68) were employed. Receptor phosphorylation was similarly reduced 2-fold with PEG-K65 and PEG-K68 in 3T3 fibroblasts and MCF-7 breast cancer cells, whereas PEG-K27 showed a more than 10- and 3-fold lower activation for 3T3 and MCF-7 cells, respectively. In addition, all PEG-IGF-I variants had a 10-fold reduced association rate to IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs). Functionally, all PEG variants lost their ability to induce cell migration in the presence of IGFBP-3/vitronectin (VN) complexes, whereas cell viability was fully preserved. Analysis of downstream signaling revealed that AKT was preferentially affected upon treatment with PEG-IGF-I variants whereas MAPK signaling was unaffected by PEGylation. PEGylation of IGF-I has an impact on cell migration but not cell viability. General significance PEG-IGF-I may differentially modulate IGF-I mediated functions that are dependent on receptor interaction as well as key extracellular proteins such as VN and IGFBPs.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Musculoskeletal injuries represent a major public health problem and drugs that can improve muscle repair and restore function are needed for patients with these conditions and other related muscular pathologies. Increasing insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels in skeletal muscle improves regeneration after myotoxic injury and while administration of IGF-I has a potential for accelerating healing after trauma, optimizing its method of delivery and obviating potential side-effects currently associated with recombinant human (rh) IGF-I, remain a hurdle. DESIGN: We compared the treatment efficacy of rhIGF-I with a polyethylene glycol modified IGF-I (PEG-IGF-I) analog to improve functional repair of mouse tibialis anterior muscles after myotoxic injury, testing the hypothesis that PEG-IGF-I would exert greater beneficial effects on regenerating skeletal muscles than rhIGF-I due to improved pharmacokinetic properties. We also examined the relative efficacy of systemic versus local delivery of these IGF-I variants for improving functional muscle regeneration. RESULTS: Local delivery of PEG-IGF-I, but not rhIGF-I, at 4days post-injury significantly improved early functional recovery as evident by a 27% increase in normalized force compared with saline control (P<0.05), whereas systemic application of either IGF-I variant was not effective. The improved function with intramuscular PEG-IGF-I administration was attributed to a greater and prolonged residence within the regenerating muscles, resulting in increased Akt activation and a 13% larger fiber cross-sectional area compared with rhIGF-I (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These data support the hypothesis that PEG-IGF-I is more efficacious than rhIGF-I in hastening early fiber regeneration and improving muscle function after injury, highlighting its therapeutic potential for muscular pathologies.
    Growth hormone & IGF research: official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society 04/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rett Syndrome (RTT), an X-linked postnatal disorder, results from mutations in Methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Survival and breathing in Mecp2NULL/Y animals are improved by N-terminal tripeptide of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) treatment. We determined that Mecp2NULL/Y animals also have a metabolic syndrome and investigated whether IGF-I treatment might improve this phenotype. Mecp2NULL/Y mice were treated with a full length IGF-I modified with the addition of polyethylene glycol (PEG-IGF-I), which improves pharmacological properties. Low dose PEG-IGF-I treatment slightly improved lifespan and heart rate in Mecp2NULL/Y mice; however, high dose PEG-IGF-I decreased lifespan. To determine if insulinotropic off-target effects of PEG-IGF-I caused the detrimental effect we treated Mecp2NULL/Y mice with insulin, which also decreased lifespan. Thus, the clinical benefit of IGF-I treatment in RTT may critically depend on the dose used, and caution should be taken when initiating clinical trials with these compounds because the beneficial therapeutic window is narrow.
    Human Molecular Genetics 03/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is a complex multisystemic inherited disorder, which displays multiple debilitating neurological manifestations. Despite recent progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy type 1 in skeletal muscle and heart, the pathways affected in the central nervous system are largely unknown. To address this question, we studied the only transgenic mouse line expressing CTG trinucleotide repeats in the central nervous system. These mice recreate molecular features of RNA toxicity, such as RNA foci accumulation and missplicing. They exhibit relevant behavioural and cognitive phenotypes, deficits in short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as changes in neurochemical levels. In the search for disease intermediates affected by disease mutation, a global proteomics approach revealed RAB3A upregulation and synapsin I hyperphosphorylation in the central nervous system of transgenic mice, transfected cells and post-mortem brains of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. These protein defects were associated with electrophysiological and behavioural deficits in mice and altered spontaneous neurosecretion in cell culture. Taking advantage of a relevant transgenic mouse of a complex human disease, we found a novel connection between physiological phenotypes and synaptic protein dysregulation, indicative of synaptic dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy type 1 brain pathology.
    Brain 03/2013; 136(Pt 3):957-70. · 9.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) has been successfully tested in the SOD1-G93A mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and proposed for clinical treatment. However, beneficial effects required gene therapy or intrathecal application. Circumventing the dosing issues we recently found that polyethylene glycol (PEG) modified IGF-I (PEG-IGF-I) modulated neuromuscular function after systemic application, and protected against disease progression in a motor neuron disease model. Here we investigated its effects in two SOD1-G93A mouse lines, the G1L with a milder and the G1H with a more severe phenotype. Results showed that in G1L mice, PEG-IGF-I treatment significantly improved muscle force, motor coordination and animal survival. In contrast, treatment of G1H mice with PEG-IGF-I or IGF-I even at high doses did not beneficially affect survival or functional outcomes despite increased signalling in brain and spinal cord by both agents. In conclusion, the data point towards further investigation of the therapeutic potential of PEG-IGF-I in ALS patients with less severe clinical phenotypes.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 08/2012; 13(5):418-29. · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Due to its potent neurotrophic activity, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) has been proposed many times for therapeutic application in disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). However, insufficient brain delivery to yield beneficial central without peripheral side effects have prevented clinical development in most instances. We recently reported the generation of a polyethylene-glycol modified IGF-I variant (PEG-IGF-I) with prolonged half-life and less acute side effects, but with fully maintained slow anabolic activity. Here we investigated if these beneficial properties result in improved brain availability of the drug, thereby reaching therapeutically relevant steady-state concentrations to elicit beneficial effects on neuronal function. After a single subcutaneous injection, PEG-IGF-I reached much higher steady-state levels in brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid compared with IGF-I. Two weeks treatment with PEG-IGF-I was sufficient to modulate brain plasticity processes, as judged by changes in synaptic proteins and related animal behavior. Furthermore, chronic treatment of a mouse model of brain amyloidosis with PEG-IGF-I reverted deficits in insulin/IGF-I signaling, synaptic proteins and cognitive performance. Our data generate the therapeutic potential for PEG-IGF-I to treat CNS disorders by systemic drug application, and in addition scientifically support its application in disorders of synaptic function and neuronal development.
    Growth hormone & IGF research: official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society 08/2011; 21(5):292-303. · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) has important anabolic and homeostatic functions in tissues like skeletal muscle, and a decline in circulating levels is linked with catabolic conditions. Whereas IGF-I therapies for musculoskeletal disorders have been postulated, dosing issues and disruptions of the homeostasis have so far precluded clinical application. We have developed a novel IGF-I variant by site-specific addition of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to lysine 68 (PEG-IGF-I). In vitro, this modification decreased the affinity for the IGF-I and insulin receptors, presumably through decreased association rates, and slowed down the association to IGF-I-binding proteins, selectively limiting fast but maintaining sustained anabolic activity. Desirable in vivo effects of PEG-IGF-I included increased half-life and recruitment of IGF-binding proteins, thereby reducing risk of hypoglycemia. PEG-IGF-I was equipotent to IGF-I in ameliorating contraction-induced muscle injury in vivo without affecting muscle metabolism as IGF-I did. The data provide an important step in understanding the differences of IGF-I and insulin receptor contribution to the in vivo activity of IGF-I. In addition, PEG-IGF-I presents an innovative concept for IGF-I therapy in diseases with indicated muscle dysfunction.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2011; 286(22):19501-10. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Growth Hormone & Igf Research - GROWTH HORM IGF RES. 01/2010; 20.
  • Source