Neuromuscular diseases are often caused by inherited mutations that lead to progressive skeletal muscle weakness and degeneration. In diverse populations of normal healthy mice, we observed correlations between the abundance of mRNA transcripts related to mitochondrial biogenesis, the dystrophin-sarcoglycan complex, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) synthesis, consistent with a potential role for the essential cofactor NAD+ in protecting muscle from metabolic and structural degeneration. Furthermore, the skeletal muscle transcriptomes of patients with Duchene’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other muscle diseases were enriched for various poly[adenosine 5’-diphosphate (ADP)–ribose] polymerases (PARPs) and for nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), enzymes that are major consumers of NAD+ and are involved in pleiotropic events, including inflammation. In the mdx mouse model of DMD, we observed significant reductions in muscle NAD+ levels, concurrent increases in PARP activity, and reduced expression of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD+ biosynthesis. Replenishing NAD+ stores with dietary nicotinamide riboside supplementation improved muscle function and heart pathology in mdx and mdx/Utr−/− mice and reversed pathology in Caenorhabditis elegans models of DMD. The effects of NAD+ repletion in mdx mice relied on the improvement in mitochondrial function and structural protein expression (α-dystrobrevin and δ-sarcoglycan) and on the reductions in general poly(ADP)-ribosylation, inflammation, and fibrosis. In combination, these studies suggest that the replenishment of NAD+ may benefit patients with muscular dystrophies or other neuromuscular degenerative conditions characterized by the PARP/NNMT gene expression signatures.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling plays critical roles in regulating skeletal muscle mass, repair, and diseases. In this review, we discuss the upstream activators of STAT3 in skeletal muscles, with a focus on interleukin 6 (IL6) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1). We will also discuss the double-edged effect of STAT3 activation in the muscles, including the role of STAT3 signaling in muscle hypertrophy induced by exercise training or muscle wasting in cachectic diseases and muscular dystrophies. STAT3 is a critical regulator of satellite cell self-renewal after muscle injury. STAT3 knock out affects satellite cell myogenic progression by impairing proliferation and inducing premature differentiation. Recent studies in STAT3 signaling demonstrated its direct role in controlling myogenic capacity of myoblasts and satellite cells, as well as the potential benefit in using STAT3 inhibitors to treat muscle diseases. However, prolonged STAT3 activation in muscles has been shown to be responsible for muscle wasting by activating protein degradation pathways. It is important to balance the extent of STAT3 activation and the duration and location (cell types) of the STAT3 signaling when developing therapeutic interventions. STAT3 signaling in other tissues and organs that can directly or indirectly affects skeletal muscle health are also discussed.
Highlights d MICU1 is central to coupling MCU to skeletal muscle excitation and contraction d Muscle-specific lack of MICU1 in mouse recaps skeletal muscle symptoms in patients d Loss of the bioenergetic role of MICU1 contributes to muscle weakness and fatigue d Impaired membrane repair contributes to myofiber damage and high serum CK levels
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by progressive muscle wasting secondary to repeated muscle damage and inadequate repair. Elevations in intracellular free Ca²⁺ have been implicated in disease progression, and sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺-ATPase 1 (SERCA1) overexpression has been shown to ameliorate the dystrophic phenotype in mdx mice. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of SERCA1 overexpression in the more severe mdx/Utr(-/-) mouse model of DMD. Mice overexpressing SERCA1 were crossed with mdx/Utr ± mice to generate mdx/Utr(-/-)/+SERCA1 mice and compared with wild-type (WT), WT/+SERCA1, mdx/+SERCA1, and genotype controls. Mice were assessed at ∼12 wk of age for changes in Ca²⁺ handling, muscle mass, quadriceps torque, markers of muscle damage, and response to repeated eccentric contractions. SERCA1-overexpressing mice had a two- to threefold increase in maximal sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺-ATPase activity compared with WT which was associated with normalization in body mass for both mdx/+SERCA1 and mdx/Utr(-/-)/+SERCA1. Torque deficit in the quadriceps after eccentric injury was 2.7-fold greater in mdx/Utr(-/-) vs. WT mice, but only 1.5-fold greater in mdx/Utr(-/-)/+SERCA1 vs. WT mice, an attenuation of 44%. Markers of muscle damage (% centrally nucleated fibers, necrotic area, and serum creatine kinase levels) were higher in both mdx and mdx/Utr(-/-) vs. WT, and all were attenuated by overexpression of SERCA1. These data indicate that SERCA1 overexpression ameliorates functional impairments and cellular markers of damage in a more severe mouse model of DMD. These findings support targeting intracellular Ca²⁺ control as a therapeutic approach for DMD.
Vamorolone is a first-in-class dissociative drug that selectively targets the glucocorticoid receptor to safely treat chronic inflammation and the mineralocorticoid receptor to treat cardiomyopathy, providing efficacy with improved safety in mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM) is the most common primary myopathy in the elderly, but its pathoetiology is still unclear. Perturbed myocellular calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis can exacerbate many of the factors proposed to mediate muscle degeneration in IBM, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, protein aggregation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Ca2+ dysregulation may plausibly be initiated in IBM by immune-mediated membrane damage and/or abnormally accumulating proteins, but no studies to date have investigated Ca2+ regulation in IBM patients. We first investigated protein expression via immunoblot in muscle biopsies from IBM, dermatomyositis, and non-myositis control patients, identifying several differentially expressed Ca2+-regulatory proteins in IBM. Next, we investigated the Ca2+-signaling transcriptome by RNA-seq, finding 54 of 183 (29.5%) genes from an unbiased list differentially expressed in IBM vs. controls. Using an established statistical approach to relate genes with causal transcription networks, Ca2+ abundance was considered a significant upstream regulator of observed whole-transcriptome changes. Post-hoc analyses of Ca2+-regulatory mRNA and protein data indicated a lower protein to transcript ratio in IBM vs. controls, which we hypothesized may relate to increased Ca2+-dependent proteolysis and decreased protein translation. Supporting this hypothesis, we observed robust (4-fold) elevation in the autolytic activation of a Ca2+-activated protease, calpain-1, as well as increased signaling for translational attenuation (eIF2α phosphorylation) downstream of the unfolded protein response. Finally, in IBM samples we observed mRNA and protein under-expression of calpain-3, the skeletal muscle-specific calpain, which broadly supports proper Ca2+ homeostasis. Together, these data provide novel insight into mechanisms by which intracellular Ca2+ regulation is perturbed in IBM and offer evidence of pathological downstream effects.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40478-017-0427-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
BackgroundNiemann-Pick disease type A (NPDA), a disease caused by mutations in acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), involves severe neurodegeneration and early death. Intracellular lipid accumulation and plasma membrane alterations are implicated in the pathology. ASM is also linked to the mechanism of plasma membrane repair, so we investigated the impact of ASM deficiency in skeletal muscle, a tissue that undergoes frequent cycles of injury and repair in vivo.MethodsUtilizing the NPDA/B mouse model ASM−/− and wild type (WT) littermates, we performed excitation-contraction coupling/Ca2+ mobilization and sarcolemma injury/repair assays with isolated flexor digitorum brevis fibers, proteomic analyses with quadriceps femoris, flexor digitorum brevis, and tibialis posterior muscle and in vivo tests of the contractile force (maximal isometric torque) of the quadriceps femoris muscle before and after eccentric contraction-induced muscle injury.ResultsASM−/− flexor digitorum brevis fibers showed impaired excitation-contraction coupling compared to WT, a defect expressed as reduced tetanic [Ca2+]i in response to electrical stimulation and early failure in sustaining [Ca2+]i during repeated tetanic contractions. When injured mechanically by needle passage, ASM−/− flexor digitorum brevis fibers showed susceptibility to injury similar to WT, but a reduced ability to reseal the sarcolemma. Proteomic analyses revealed changes in a small group of skeletal muscle proteins as a consequence of ASM deficiency, with downregulation of calsequestrin occurring in the three different muscles analyzed. In vivo, the loss in maximal isometric torque of WT quadriceps femoris was similar immediately after and 2 min after injury. The loss in ASM−/− mice immediately after injury was similar to WT, but was markedly larger at 2 min after injury.ConclusionsSkeletal muscle fibers from ASM−/− mice have an impairment in intracellular Ca2+ handling that results in reduced Ca2+ mobilization and a more rapid decline in peak Ca2+ transients during repeated contraction-relaxation cycles. Isolated fibers show reduced ability to repair damage to the sarcolemma, and this is associated with an exaggerated deficit in force during recovery from an in vivo eccentric contraction-induced muscle injury. Our findings uncover the possibility that skeletal muscle functional defects may play a role in the pathology of NPDA/B disease.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1186/s13395-018-0187-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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