Physiology - Research Publications

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    Metabolic remodeling of dystrophic skeletal muscle reveals biological roles for dystrophin and utrophin in adaptation and plasticity
    Hardee, JP ; Martins, KJB ; Miotto, PM ; Ryall, JG ; Gehrig, SM ; Reljic, B ; Naim, T ; Chung, JD ; Trieu, J ; Swiderski, K ; Philp, AM ; Philp, A ; Watt, MJ ; Stroud, DA ; Koopman, R ; Steinberg, GR ; Lynch, GS (ELSEVIER, 2021-01-12)
    OBJECTIVES: Preferential damage to fast, glycolytic myofibers is common in many muscle-wasting diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Promoting an oxidative phenotype could protect muscles from damage and ameliorate the dystrophic pathology with therapeutic relevance, but developing efficacious strategies requires understanding currently unknown biological roles for dystrophin and utrophin in dystrophic muscle adaptation and plasticity. METHODS: Combining whole transcriptome RNA sequencing and mitochondrial proteomics with assessments of metabolic and contractile function, we investigated the roles of dystrophin and utrophin in fast-to-slow muscle remodeling with low-frequency electrical stimulation (LFS, 10 Hz, 12 h/d, 7 d/wk, 28 d) in mdx (dystrophin null) and dko (dystrophin/utrophin null) mice, two established preclinical models of DMD. RESULTS: Novel biological roles in adaptation were demonstrated by impaired transcriptional activation of estrogen-related receptor alpha-responsive genes supporting oxidative phosphorylation in dystrophic muscles. Further, utrophin expression in dystrophic muscles was required for LFS-induced remodeling of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, enhanced fiber respiration, and conferred protection from eccentric contraction-mediated damage. CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal novel roles for dystrophin and utrophin during LFS-induced metabolic remodeling of dystrophic muscle and highlight the therapeutic potential of LFS to ameliorate the dystrophic pathology and protect from contraction-induced injury with important implications for DMD and related muscle disorders.
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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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    Spatiotemporal Mapping Reveals Regional Gastrointestinal Dysfunction in mdx Dystrophic Mice Ameliorated by Oral L-arginine Supplementation
    Swiderski, K ; Bindon, R ; Trieu, J ; Naim, T ; Schokman, S ; Swaminathan, M ; Leembruggen, AJL ; Hill-Yardin, EL ; Koopman, R ; Bornstein, JC ; Lynch, GS (KOREAN SOC NEUROGASTROENTEROLOGY & MOTILITY, 2020-01-01)
    BACKGROUND/AIMS: Patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy exhibit significant, ongoing impairments in gastrointestinal (GI) function likely resulting from dysregulated nitric oxide production. Compounds increasing neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression and/or activity could improve GI dysfunction and enhance quality of life for dystrophic patients. We used video imaging and spatiotemporal mapping to identify GI dysfunction in mdx dystrophic mice and determine whether dietary intervention to enhance nitric oxide could alleviate aberrant colonic activity in muscular dystrophy. METHODS: Four-week-old male C57BL/10 and mdx mice received a specialized diet either with no supplementation (control) or supplemented (1 g/kg/day) with L-alanine, L-arginine, or L-citrulline for 8 weeks. At the conclusion of treatment, mice were sacrificed by cervical dislocation and colon motility examined by spatiotemporal (ST) mapping ex vivo. RESULTS: ST mapping identified increased contraction number in the mid and distal colon of mdx mice on control and L-alanine supplemented diets relative to C57BL/10 mice (P < 0.05). Administration of either L-arginine or L-citrulline attenuated contraction number in distal colons of mdx mice relative to C57BL/10 mice. CONCLUSIONS: GI dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy has been sadly neglected as an issue affecting quality of life. ST mapping identified regional GI dysfunction in the mdx dystrophic mouse. Dietary interventions to increase nitric oxide signaling in the GI tract reduced the number of colonic contractions and alleviated colonic constriction at rest. These findings in mdx mice reveal that L-arginine can improve colonic motility and has potential therapeutic relevance for alleviating GI discomfort, improving clinical care, and enhancing quality of life in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
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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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    Glycine Protects Muscle Cells From Wasting in vitro via mTORC1 Signaling
    Caldow, MK ; Ham, DJ ; Trieu, J ; Chung, JD ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2019-11-13)
    Glycine supplementation can protect skeletal muscles of mice from cancer-induced wasting, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are not well-understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether exogenous glycine directly protects skeletal muscle cells from wasting. C2C12 muscle cells were exposed to non-inflammatory catabolic stimuli via two models: serum withdrawal (SF) for 48 h; or incubation in HEPES buffered saline (HBS) for up to 5 h. Cells were supplemented with glycine or equimolar concentrations of L-alanine. SF- and HBS-treated myotubes (with or without L-alanine) were ~20% and ~30% smaller than control myotubes. Glycine-treated myotubes were up to 20% larger (P < 0.01) compared to cells treated with L-alanine in both models of muscle cell atrophy. The mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin prevented the glycine-stimulated protection of myotube diameter, and glycine-stimulated S6 phosphorylation, suggesting that mTORC1 signaling may be necessary for glycine's protective effects in vitro. Increasing glycine availability may be beneficial for muscle wasting conditions associated with inadequate nutrient intake.
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    Muscle-specific deletion of SOCS3 does not reduce the anabolic response to leucine in a mouse model of acute inflammation
    Caldow, MK ; Ham, DJ ; Chee, A ; Trieu, J ; Naim, T ; Stapleton, DI ; Swiderski, K ; Lynch, GS ; Koopman, R (ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2017-08-01)
    Excessive inflammation reduces skeletal muscle protein synthesis leading to wasting and weakness. The janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 (JAK/STAT3) pathway is important for the regulation of inflammatory signaling. As such, suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3), the negative regulator of JAK/STAT signaling, is thought to be important in the control of muscle homeostasis. We hypothesized that muscle-specific deletion of SOCS3 would impair the anabolic response to leucine during an inflammatory insult. Twelve week old (n=8 per group) SOCS3 muscle-specific knockout mice (SOCS3-MKO) and littermate controls (WT) were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1mg/kg) or saline and were studied during fasted conditions or after receiving 0.5g/kg leucine 3h after the injection of LPS. Markers of inflammation, anabolic signaling, and protein synthesis were measured 4h after LPS injection. LPS injection robustly increased mRNA expression of inflammatory molecules (Socs3, Socs1, Il-6, Ccl2, Tnfα and Cd68). In muscles from SOCS3-MKO mice, the Socs3 mRNA response to LPS was significantly blunted (∼6-fold) while STAT3 Tyr705 phosphorylation was exacerbated (18-fold). Leucine administration increased protein synthesis in both WT (∼1.6-fold) and SOCS3-MKO mice (∼1.5-fold) compared to basal levels. LPS administration blunted this effect, but there were no differences between WT and SOCS3-MKO mice. Muscle-specific SOCS3 deletion did not alter the response of AKT, mTOR, S6 or 4EBP1 under any treatment conditions. Therefore, SOCS3 does not appear to mediate the early inflammatory or leucine-induced changes in protein synthesis in skeletal muscle.
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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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    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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    Muscle-specific deletion of SOCS3 increases the early inflammatory response but does not affect regeneration after myotoxic injury
    Swiderski, K ; Thakur, SS ; Naim, T ; Trieu, J ; Chee, A ; Stapleton, DI ; Koopman, R ; Lynch, GS (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2016-10-24)
    BACKGROUND: Muscles of old animals are injured more easily and regenerate poorly, attributed in part to increased levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. The Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling cascade is a key mediator of inflammatory cytokine action, and signaling via this pathway is increased in muscles with aging. As a negative regulator of JAK/STAT signaling, a key mediator of myogenic proliferation and differentiation, altered expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS3) is likely to have important consequences for muscle regeneration. To model this scenario, we investigated the effect of SOCS3 deletion within mature muscle fibers on injury and repair. We tested the hypothesis that reduced SOCS3 function would alter the inflammatory response and impair muscle regeneration after myotoxic injury. METHODS: Mice with a specific deletion of SOCS3 within mature skeletal muscle fibers were used to assess the effect of SOCS3 deletion on muscle injury and repair. Twelve-week-old or 24-month-old SOCS3 muscle-specific knockout (SOCS3 MKO) mice and littermate controls were either left uninjured or injured with a single injection of notexin (10 μg/ml) into the right tibialis anterior (TA) muscle. At 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, or 14 days post-injury, the right TA muscle was excised and subjected to histological, western immunoblotting, and gene expression analyses. Force production and fatigue were assessed in uninjured muscles and at 7 days post-notexin injury. RESULTS: In uninjured muscles, SOCS3 deletion decreased force production during fatigue but had no effect on the gross or histological appearance of the TA muscles. After notexin injury, deletion of SOCS3 increased STAT3 phosphorylation at day 1 and increased the mRNA expression of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, and the inflammatory cell markers F4/80 and CD68 at day 2. Gene expression analysis of the regeneration markers Pax7, MyoD, and Myogenin indicated SOCS3 deletion had no effect on the progression of muscle repair after notexin injury. Inflammation and regeneration were also unchanged in the muscles of 24-month-old SOCS3 MKO mice compared with control. CONCLUSIONS: Loss of SOCS3 expression in mature muscle fibers increased the inflammatory response to myotoxic injury but did not impair muscle regeneration in either adult or old mice. Therefore, reduced SOCS3 expression in muscle fibers is unlikely to underlie impaired muscle regeneration. Further investigation into the role of SOCS3 in other cell types involved in muscle repair is warranted.
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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.