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    Deletion of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) in muscle stem cells does not alter muscle regeneration in mice after injury
    Swiderski, K ; Caldow, MK ; Naim, T ; Trieu, J ; Chee, A ; Koopman, R ; Lynch, GS ; Alway, SE (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-02-27)
    Muscles of older animals are more susceptible to injury and regenerate poorly, in part due to a persistent inflammatory response. The janus kinase (Jak)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) pathway mediates inflammatory signaling and is tightly regulated by the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins, especially SOCS3. SOCS3 expression is altered in the muscle of aged animals and may contribute to the persistent inflammation and impaired regeneration. To test this hypothesis, we performed myotoxic injuries on mice with a tamoxifen-inducible deletion of SOCS3 specifically within the muscle stem cell compartment. Muscle stem cell-specific SOCS3 deletion reduced muscle mass at 14 days post-injury (-14%, P < 0.01), altered the myogenic transcriptional program, and reduced myogenic fusion based on the number of centrally-located nuclei per muscle fiber. Despite the delay in myogenesis, muscles with a muscle stem cell-specific deletion of SOCS3 were still able to regenerate after a single bout or multiple bouts of myotoxic injury. A reduction in SOCS3 expression in muscle stem cells is unlikely to be responsible for the incomplete muscle repair in aged animals.
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    Glycine administration attenuates progression of dystrophic pathology in prednisolone-treated dystrophin/utrophin null mice
    Ham, DJ ; Gardner, A ; Kennedy, TL ; Trieu, J ; Naim, T ; Chee, A ; Alves, FM ; Caldow, MK ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-09-10)
    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked genetic disease characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness and premature death. Glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisolone) remain the only drugs with a favorable impact on DMD patients, but not without side effects. We have demonstrated that glycine preserves muscle in various wasting models. Since glycine effectively suppresses the activity of pro-inflammatory macrophages, we investigated the potential of glycine treatment to ameliorate the dystrophic pathology. Dystrophic mdx and dystrophin-utrophin null (dko) mice were treated with glycine or L-alanine (amino acid control) for up to 15 weeks and voluntary running distance (a quality of life marker and strong correlate of lifespan in dko mice) and muscle morphology were assessed. Glycine increased voluntary running distance in mdx mice by 90% (P < 0.05) after 2 weeks and by 60% (P < 0.01) in dko mice co-treated with prednisolone over an 8 week treatment period. Glycine treatment attenuated fibrotic deposition in the diaphragm by 28% (P < 0.05) after 10 weeks in mdx mice and by 22% (P < 0.02) after 14 weeks in dko mice. Glycine treatment augmented the prednisolone-induced reduction in fibrosis in diaphragm muscles of dko mice (23%, P < 0.05) after 8 weeks. Our findings provide strong evidence that glycine supplementation may be a safe, simple and effective adjuvant for improving the efficacy of prednisolone treatment and improving the quality of life for DMD patients.
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    Skeletal muscle-specific overexpression of IGFBP-2 promotes a slower muscle phenotype in healthy but not dystrophic mdx mice and does not affect the dystrophic pathology
    Swiderski, K ; Martins, KJB ; Chee, A ; Trieu, J ; Naim, T ; Gehrig, SM ; Baum, DM ; Brenmoehl, J ; Chau, L ; Koopman, R ; Gregorevic, P ; Metzger, F ; Hoeflich, A ; Lynch, GS (CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE, 2016-10-01)
    OBJECTIVE: The insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) are thought to modulate cell size and homeostasis via IGF-I-dependent and -independent pathways. There is a considerable dearth of information regarding the function of IGFBPs in skeletal muscle, particularly their role in the pathophysiology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In this study we tested the hypothesis that intramuscular IGFBP-2 overexpression would ameliorate the pathology in mdx dystrophic mice. DESIGN: 4week old male C57Bl/10 and mdx mice received a single intramuscular injection of AAV6-empty or AAV6-IGFBP-2 vector into the tibialis anterior muscle. At 8weeks post-injection the effect of IGFBP-2 overexpression on the structure and function of the injected muscle was assessed. RESULTS: AAV6-mediated IGFBP-2 overexpression in the tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of 4-week-old C57BL/10 and mdx mice reduced the mass of injected muscle after 8weeks, inducing a slower muscle phenotype in C57BL/10 but not mdx mice. Analysis of inflammatory and fibrotic gene expression revealed no changes between control and IGFBP-2 injected muscles in dystrophic (mdx) mice. CONCLUSIONS: Together these results indicate that the IGFBP-2-induced promotion of a slower muscle phenotype is impaired in muscles of dystrophin-deficient mdx mice, which contributes to the inability of IGFBP-2 to ameliorate the dystrophic pathology. The findings implicate the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) in the signaling required for this adaptation.
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    Antibody-directed myostatin inhibition enhances muscle mass and function in tumor-bearing mice
    Murphy, KT ; Chee, A ; Gleeson, BG ; Naim, T ; Swiderski, K ; Koopman, R ; Lynch, GS (AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC, 2011-09-01)
    Cancer cachexia describes the progressive skeletal muscle wasting and weakness in many cancer patients and accounts for >20% of cancer-related deaths. We tested the hypothesis that antibody-directed myostatin inhibition would attenuate the atrophy and loss of function in muscles of tumor-bearing mice. Twelve-week-old C57BL/6 mice received a subcutaneous injection of saline (control) or Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) tumor cells. One week later, mice received either once weekly injections of saline (control, n = 12; LLC, n = 9) or a mouse chimera of anti-human myostatin antibody (PF-354, 10 mg·kg⁻¹·wk⁻¹, LLC+PF-354, n = 11) for 5 wk. Injection of LLC cells reduced muscle mass and maximum force of tibialis anterior (TA) muscles by 8-10% (P < 0.05), but the muscle atrophy and weakness were prevented with PF-354 treatment (P > 0.05). Maximum specific (normalized) force of diaphragm muscle strips was reduced with LLC injection (P < 0.05) but was not improved with PF-354 treatment (P > 0.05). PF-354 enhanced activity of oxidative enzymes in TA and diaphragm muscles of tumor-bearing mice by 118% and 89%, respectively (P < 0.05). Compared with controls, apoptosis that was not of myofibrillar or satellite cell origin was 140% higher in TA muscle cross sections from saline-treated LLC tumor-bearing mice (P < 0.05) but was not different in PF-354-treated tumor-bearing mice (P > 0.05). Antibody-directed myostatin inhibition attenuated the skeletal muscle atrophy and loss of muscle force-producing capacity in a murine model of cancer cachexia, in part by reducing apoptosis. The improvements in limb muscle mass and function highlight the therapeutic potential of antibody-directed myostatin inhibition for cancer cachexia.
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    Tranilast administration reduces fibrosis and improves fatigue resistance in muscles of mdx dystrophic mice
    Swiderski, K ; Todorov, M ; Gehrig, SM ; Naim, T ; Chee, A ; Stapleton, DI ; Koopman, R ; Lynch, GS (BMC, 2014-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe and progressive muscle-wasting disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene that result in the absence of the membrane-stabilising protein dystrophin. Dystrophic muscle fibres are susceptible to injury and degeneration, and impaired muscle regeneration is associated with fibrotic deposition that limits the efficacy of potential pharmacological, cell- and gene-based therapies. Novel treatments that can prevent or attenuate fibrosis have important clinical merit for DMD and related neuromuscular diseases. We investigated the therapeutic potential for tranilast, an orally bioavailable anti-allergic agent, to prevent fibrosis in skeletal muscles of mdx dystrophic mice. RESULTS: Three-week-old C57Bl/10 and mdx mice received tranilast (~300 mg/kg) in their food for 9 weeks, after which fibrosis was assessed through histological analyses, and functional properties of tibialis anterior muscles were assessed in situ and diaphragm muscle strips in vitro. Tranilast administration did not significantly alter the mass of any muscles in control or mdx mice, but it decreased fibrosis in the severely affected diaphragm muscle by 31% compared with untreated mdx mice (P < 0.05). A similar trend of decreased fibrosis was observed in the tibialis anterior muscles of mdx mice (P = 0.10). These reductions in fibrotic deposition were not associated with improvements in maximum force-producing capacity, but we did observe small but significant improvements in the resistance to fatigue in both the diaphragm and TA muscles of mdx mice treated with tranilast. CONCLUSION: Together these findings demonstrate that administration of potent antifibrotic compounds such as tranilast could help preserve skeletal muscle structure, which could ultimately increase the efficacy of pharmacological, cell and gene replacement/correction therapies for muscular dystrophy and related disorders.
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    Dysfunctional Muscle and Liver Glycogen Metabolism in mdx Dystrophic Mice
    Stapleton, DI ; Lau, X ; Flores, M ; Trieu, J ; Gehrig, SM ; Chee, A ; Naim, T ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R ; Gaetano, C (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-03-13)
    BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe, genetic muscle wasting disorder characterised by progressive muscle weakness. DMD is caused by mutations in the dystrophin (dmd) gene resulting in very low levels or a complete absence of the dystrophin protein, a key structural element of muscle fibres which is responsible for the proper transmission of force. In the absence of dystrophin, muscle fibres become damaged easily during contraction resulting in their degeneration. DMD patients and mdx mice (an animal model of DMD) exhibit altered metabolic disturbances that cannot be attributed to the loss of dystrophin directly. We tested the hypothesis that glycogen metabolism is defective in mdx dystrophic mice. RESULTS: Dystrophic mdx mice had increased skeletal muscle glycogen (79%, (P<0.01)). Skeletal muscle glycogen synthesis is initiated by glycogenin, the expression of which was increased by 50% in mdx mice (P<0.0001). Glycogen synthase activity was 12% higher (P<0.05) but glycogen branching enzyme activity was 70% lower (P<0.01) in mdx compared with wild-type mice. The rate-limiting enzyme for glycogen breakdown, glycogen phosphorylase, had 62% lower activity (P<0.01) in mdx mice resulting from a 24% reduction in PKA activity (P<0.01). In mdx mice glycogen debranching enzyme expression was 50% higher (P<0.001) together with starch-binding domain protein 1 (219% higher; P<0.01). In addition, mdx mice were glucose intolerant (P<0.01) and had 30% less liver glycogen (P<0.05) compared with control mice. Subsequent analysis of the enzymes dysregulated in skeletal muscle glycogen metabolism in mdx mice identified reduced glycogenin protein expression (46% less; P<0.05) as a possible cause of this phenotype. CONCLUSION: We identified that mdx mice were glucose intolerant, and had increased skeletal muscle glycogen but reduced amounts of liver glycogen.
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    L-Citrulline Protects Skeletal Muscle Cells from Cachectic Stimuli through an iNOS-Dependent Mechanism
    Ham, DJ ; Gleeson, BG ; Chee, A ; Baum, DM ; Caldow, MK ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R ; Beard, N (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2015-10-29)
    Dietary L-citrulline is thought to modulate muscle protein turnover by increasing L-arginine availability. To date, the direct effects of increased L-citrulline concentrations in muscle have been completely neglected. Therefore, we determined the role of L-citrulline in regulating cell size during catabolic conditions by depriving mature C2C12 myotubes of growth factors (serum free; SF) or growth factors and nutrients (HEPES buffered saline; HBS). Cells were treated with L-citrulline or equimolar concentrations of L-arginine (positive control) or L-alanine (negative control) and changes in cell size and protein turnover were assessed. In myotubes incubated in HBS or SF media, L-citrulline improved rates of protein synthesis (HBS: +63%, SF: +37%) and myotube diameter (HBS: +18%, SF: +29%). L-citrulline treatment substantially increased iNOS mRNA expression (SF: 350%, HBS: 750%). The general NOS inhibitor L-NAME and the iNOS specific inhibitor aminoguanidine prevented these effects in both models. Depriving myotubes in SF media of L-arginine or L-leucine, exacerbated wasting which was not attenuated by L-citrulline. The increased iNOS mRNA expression was temporally associated with increases in mRNA of the endogenous antioxidants SOD1, SOD3 and catalase. Furthermore, L-citrulline prevented inflammation (LPS) and oxidative stress (H2O2) induced muscle cell wasting. In conclusion, we demonstrate a novel direct protective effect of L-citrulline on skeletal muscle cell size independent of L-arginine that is mediated through induction of the inducible NOS (iNOS) isoform. This discovery of a nutritional modulator of iNOS mRNA expression in skeletal muscle cells could have substantial implications for the treatment of muscle wasting conditions.
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    Functional beta-Adrenoceptors Are Important for Early Muscle Regeneration in Mice through Effects on Myoblast Proliferation and Differentiation
    Church, JE ; Trieu, J ; Sheorey, R ; Chee, AY-M ; Naim, T ; Baum, DM ; Ryall, JG ; Gregorevic, P ; Lynch, GS ; Alway, SE (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-07-07)
    Muscles can be injured in different ways and the trauma and subsequent loss of function and physical capacity can impact significantly on the lives of patients through physical impairments and compromised quality of life. The relative success of muscle repair after injury will largely determine the extent of functional recovery. Unfortunately, regenerative processes are often slow and incomplete, and so developing novel strategies to enhance muscle regeneration is important. While the capacity to enhance muscle repair by stimulating β2-adrenoceptors (β-ARs) using β2-AR agonists (β2-agonists) has been demonstrated previously, the exact role β-ARs play in regulating the regenerative process remains unclear. To investigate β-AR-mediated signaling in muscle regeneration after myotoxic damage, we examined the regenerative capacity of tibialis anterior and extensor digitorum longus muscles from mice lacking either β1-AR (β1-KO) and/or β2-ARs (β2-KO), testing the hypothesis that muscles from mice lacking the β2-AR would exhibit impaired functional regeneration after damage compared with muscles from β1-KO or β1/β2-AR null (β1/β2-KO) KO mice. At 7 days post-injury, regenerating muscles from β1/β2-KO mice produced less force than those of controls but muscles from β1-KO or β2-KO mice did not exhibit any delay in functional restoration. Compared with controls, β1/β2-KO mice exhibited an enhanced inflammatory response to injury, which delayed early muscle regeneration, but an enhanced myoblast proliferation later during regeneration ensured a similar functional recovery (to controls) by 14 days post-injury. This apparent redundancy in the β-AR signaling pathway was unexpected and may have important implications for manipulating β-AR signaling to improve the rate, extent and efficacy of muscle regeneration to enhance functional recovery after injury.
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    Alterations in Notch signalling in skeletal muscles from mdx and dko dystrophic mice and patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
    Church, JE ; Trieu, J ; Chee, A ; Naim, T ; Gehrig, SM ; Lamon, S ; Angelini, C ; Russell, AP ; Lynch, GS (WILEY, 2014-04-01)
    New Findings What is the central question of this study? The Notch signalling pathway plays an important role in muscle regeneration, and activation of the pathway has been shown to enhance muscle regeneration in aged mice. It is unknown whether Notch activation will have a similarly beneficial effect on muscle regeneration in the context of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). What is the main finding and its importance? Although expression of Notch signalling components is altered in both mouse models of DMD and in human DMD patients, activation of the Notch signalling pathway does not confer any functional benefit on muscles from dystrophic mice, suggesting that other signalling pathways may be more fruitful targets for manipulation in treating DMD. Abstract In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), muscle damage and impaired regeneration lead to progressive muscle wasting, weakness and premature death. The Notch signalling pathway represents a central regulator of gene expression and is critical for cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptotic signalling during all stages of embryonic muscle development. Notch activation improves muscle regeneration in aged mice, but its potential to restore regeneration and function in muscular dystrophy is unknown. We performed a comprehensive examination of several genes involved in Notch signalling in muscles from dystrophin-deficient mdx and dko (utrophin- and dystrophin-null) mice and DMD patients. A reduction of Notch1 and Hes1 mRNA in tibialis anterior muscles of dko mice and quadriceps muscles of DMD patients and a reduction of Hes1 mRNA in the diaphragm of the mdx mice were observed, with other targets being inconsistent across species. Activation and inhibition of Notch signalling, followed by measures of muscle regeneration and function, were performed in the mouse models of DMD. Notch activation had no effect on functional regeneration in C57BL/10, mdx or dko mice. Notch inhibition significantly depressed the frequency-force relationship in regenerating muscles of C57BL/10 and mdx mice after injury, indicating reduced force at each stimulation frequency, but enhanced the frequency-force relationship in muscles from dko mice. We conclude that while Notch inhibition produces slight functional defects in dystrophic muscle, Notch activation does not significantly improve muscle regeneration in murine models of muscular dystrophy. Furthermore, the inconsistent expression of Notch targets between murine models and DMD patients suggests caution when making interspecies comparisons.