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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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    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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    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.
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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.