Hypertension is often associated with skeletal muscle pathological conditions related to function and metabolism. The mechanisms underlying the development of these pathological conditions remain undefined. Because calcium homeostasis is a biomarker of muscle function, we assessed whether it is altered in hypertensive muscles. We measured resting intracellular calcium and store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) in fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers from normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) by cytofluorimetric technique and determined the expression of SOCE gene machinery by real-time PCR. Hypertension caused a phenotype-dependent dysregulation of calcium homeostasis; the resting intracellular calcium of extensor digitorum longus and soleus muscles of SHRs were differently altered with respect to the related muscle of normotensive animals. In addition, soleus muscles of SHR showed reduced activity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and decreased sarcolemmal calcium permeability at rest and after SOCE activation. Accordingly, we found an alteration of the expression levels of some SOCE components, such as stromal interaction molecule 1, calcium release-activated calcium modulator 1, and transient receptor potential canonical 1. The hypertension-induced alterations of calcium homeostasis in the soleus muscle of SHRs occurred with changes of some functional outcomes as excitability and resting chloride conductance. We provide suitable targets for therapeutic interventions aimed at counterbalancing muscle performance decline in hypertension, and propose the reported calcium-dependent parameters as indexes to predict how the antihypertensive drugs could influence muscle function.
CLC-K chloride channels and their subunit, barttin, are crucial for renal NaCl reabsorption and for inner ear endolymph production. Mutations in CLC-Kb and barttin cause Bartter syndrome. Here, we identified two adjacent residues, F256 and N257, that when mutated hugely alter in Xenopus oocytes CLC-Ka's biphasic response to niflumic acid, a drug belonging to the fenamate class, with F256A being potentiated 37-fold and N257A being potently blocked with a KD~1?M. These residues are localized in the same extracellular I-J loop which harbors a regulatory Ca(2+) binding site. This loop thus can represent an ideal and CLC-K specific target for extracellular ligands able to modulate channel activity. Furthermore, we demonstrated the involvement of the barttin subunit in the NFA potentiation. Indeed the F256A mutation confers onto CLC-K1 a transient potentiation induced by NFA which is found only when CLC-K1/F256A is co-expressed with barttin. Thus, in addition to the role of barttin in targeting and gating, the subunit participates in the pharmacological modulation of CLC-K channels and thus represents a further target for potential drugs.
On the basis of a 3D-QSAR study, a new generation of tocainide analogues were designed and synthesized as voltage-gated skeletal muscle sodium channel blockers. Data obtained by screening new compounds by means of Hille-Campbell Vaseline gap voltage-clamp recordings showed that the elongation of the alkyl chain and the introduction of lipophilic and sterically hindered groups on the amino function enhance both potency and use-dependent block. The results provide additional indications about the structural requirement of pharmacophores for further increasing potency and state-dependent block and allowed us to identify a new tocainide analogue (6f) with a favorable pharmacodynamic profile to be proposed as a valid candidate for studies aimed at evaluating its usefulness in the treatment of myotonias.
In skeletal muscle, the resting chloride conductance (gCl), due to the ClC-1 chloride channel, controls the sarcolemma electrical stability. Indeed, loss-of-function mutations in ClC-1 gene are responsible of myotonia congenita. The ClC-1 channel can be phosphorylated and inactivated by protein kinases C (PKC), but the relative contribution of each PKC isoforms is unknown. Here, we investigated on the role of PKC? in the regulation of ClC-1 channel expression and activity in fast- and slow-twitch muscles of mouse models lacking PKC?. Electrophysiological studies showed an increase of gCl in the PKC?-null mice with respect to wild type. Muscle excitability was reduced accordingly. However, the expression of the ClC-1 channel, evaluated by qRT-PCR, was not modified in PKC?-null muscles suggesting that PKC? affects the ClC-1 activity. Pharmacological studies demonstrated that although PKC? appreciably modulates gCl, other isoforms are still active and concur to this role. The modification of gCl in PKC?-null muscles has caused adaptation of the expression of phenotype-specific genes, such as calcineurin and myocyte enhancer factor-2, supporting the role of PKC? also in the settings of muscle phenotype. Importantly, the lack of PKC? has prevented the aging-related reduction of gCl, suggesting that its modulation may represent a new strategy to contrast the aging process.
CLC-K chloride channels play a crucial role in kidney physiology and genetic mutations, affecting their function are responsible for severe renal salt loss in humans. Thus, compounds that selectively bind to CLC-Ka and/or CLC-Kb channels and modulate their activity may have a significant therapeutic potential. Here, we compare the biophysical and pharmacological behaviors of human CLC-K channels expressed either in HEK293 cells or in Xenopus oocytes and we show that CLC-K channel properties are greatly influenced by the biochemical environment surrounding the channels. Indeed, in HEK293 cells the potentiating effect of niflumic acid (NFA) on CLC-Ka/barttin and CLC-Kb/barttin channels seems to be absent while the blocking efficacy of niflumic acid and benzofuran derivatives observed in oocytes is preserved. The NFA block does not seem to involve the accessory subunit barttin on CLC-K1 channels. In addition, the sensitivity of CLC-Ks to external Ca(2+) is reduced in HEK293 cells. Based on our findings, we propose that mammalian cell lines are a suitable expression system for the pharmacological profiling of CLC-Ks.
Although the sodium channel blocker mexiletine is considered the first-line drug in myotonia, some patients experiment adverse effects, while others do not gain any benefit. Other antimyotonic drugs are thus needed to offer mexiletine alternatives. In the present study, we used a previously-validated rat model of myotonia congenita to compare six marketed sodium channel blockers to mexiletine. Myotonia was induced in the rat by injection of anthracen-9-carboxylic acid, a muscle chloride channel blocker. The drugs were given orally and myotonia was evaluated by measuring the time of righting reflex. The drugs were also tested on sodium currents recorded in a cell line transfected with the human skeletal muscle sodium channel hNav1.4 using patch-clamp technique. In vivo, carbamazepine and propafenone showed antimyotonic activity at doses similar to mexiletine (ED50 close to 5mg/kg); flecainide and orphenadrine showed greater potency (ED50 near 1mg/kg); lubeluzole and riluzole were the more potent (ED50 near 0.1mg/kg). The antimyotonic activity of drugs in vivo was linearly correlated with their potency in blocking hNav1.4 channels in vitro. Deviation was observed for propafenone and carbamazepine, likely due to pharmacokinetics and multiple targets. The comparison of the antimyotonic dose calculated in rats with the current clinical dose in humans strongly suggests that all the tested drugs may be used safely for the treatment of human myotonia. Considering the limits of mexiletine tolerability and the occurrence of non-responders, this study proposes an arsenal of alternative drugs, which may prove useful to increase the quality of life of individuals suffering from non-dystrophic myotonia. Further clinical trials are warranted to confirm these results.
The orexigenic and anabolic effects induced by ghrelin and the synthetic GH secretagogues (GHSs) are thought to positively contribute to therapeutic approaches and the adjunct treatment of a number of diseases associated with muscle wasting such as cachexia and sarcopenia. However, many questions about the potential utility and safety of GHSs in both therapy and skeletal muscle function remain unanswered. By using fura-2 cytofluorimetric technique, we determined the acute effects of ghrelin, as well as of peptidyl and nonpeptidyl synthetic GHSs on calcium homeostasis, a critical biomarker of muscle function, in isolated tendon-to-tendon male rat skeletal muscle fibers. The synthetic nonpeptidyl GHSs, but not peptidyl ghrelin and hexarelin, were able to significantly increase resting cytosolic calcium [Ca²?]i. The nonpeptidyl GHS-induced [Ca²?]i increase was independent of GHS-receptor 1a but was antagonized by both thapsigargin/caffeine and cyclosporine A, indicating the involvement of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Evaluation of the effects of a pseudopeptidyl GHS and a nonpeptidyl antagonist of the GHS-receptor 1a together with a drug-modeling study suggest the conclusion that the lipophilic nonpeptidyl structure of the tested compounds is the key chemical feature crucial for the GHS-induced calcium alterations in the skeletal muscle. Thus, synthetic GHSs can have different effects on skeletal muscle fibers depending on their molecular structures. The calcium homeostasis dysregulation specifically induced by the nonpeptidyl GHSs used in this study could potentially counteract the beneficial effects associated with these drugs in the treatment of muscle wasting of cachexia- or other age-related disorders.
Myotonia congenita (MC) is caused by loss-of-function mutations of the muscle ClC-1 chloride channel. Clinical manifestations include the variable association of myotonia and transitory weakness. We recently described a cohort of recessive MC patients showing, at a low rate repetitive nerves stimulation protocol, different values of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) transitory depression, which is considered the neurophysiologic counterpart of transitory weakness. From among this cohort, we studied the chloride currents generated by G190S (associated with pronounced transitory depression), F167L (little or no transitory depression), and A531V (variable transitory depression) hClC-1 mutants in transfected HEK293 cells using patch-clamp. While F167L had no effect on chloride currents, G190S dramatically shifts the voltage dependence of channel activation and A531V reduces channel expression. Such variability in molecular mechanisms observed in the hClC-1 mutants may help to explain the different clinical and neurophysiologic manifestations of each ClCN1 mutation. In addition we examined five different mutations found in compound heterozygosis with F167L, including the novel P558S, and we identified additional molecular defects. Finally, the G190S mutation appeared to impair acetazolamide effects on chloride currents in vitro.
Age-related skeletal muscle decline is characterized by the modification of sarcolemma ion channels important to sustain fiber excitability and to prevent metabolic dysfunction. Also, calcium homeostasis and contractile function are impaired. In the aim to understand whether these modifications are related to oxidative damage and can be reverted by antioxidant treatment, we examined the effects of in vivo treatment with an waste water polyphenolic mixture (LACHI MIX HT) supplied by LACHIFARMA S.r.l. Italy containing hydroxytirosol (HT), gallic acid, and homovanillic acid on the skeletal muscles of 27-month-old rats. After 6-week treatment, we found an improvement of chloride ClC-1 channel conductance, pivotal for membrane electrical stability, and of ATP-dependent potassium channel activity, important in coupling excitability with fiber metabolism. Both of them were analyzed using electrophysiological techniques. The treatment also restored the resting cytosolic calcium concentration, the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release, and the mechanical threshold for contraction, an index of excitation-contraction coupling mechanism. Muscle weight and blood creatine kinase levels were preserved in LACHI MIX HT-treated aged rats. The antioxidant activity of LACHI MIX HT was confirmed by the reduction of malondialdehyde levels in the brain of the LACHI MIX HT-treated aged rats. In comparison, the administration of purified HT was less effective on all the parameters studied. Although muscle function was not completely recovered, the present study provides evidence of the beneficial effects of LACHI MIX HT, a natural compound, to ameliorate skeletal muscle functional decline due to aging-associated oxidative stress.
Previously identified potent and/or use-dependent mexiletine (Mex) analogs were used as template for the rational design of new Na(v)-channel blockers. The effects of the novel analogs were tested on sodium currents of native myofibers. Data and molecular modeling show that increasing basicity and optimal alkyl chain length enhance use-dependent block. This was demonstrated by replacing the amino group with a more basic guanidine one while maintaining a proper distance between positive charge and aromatic ring (Me13) or with homologs having the chirality center nearby the amino group or the aromatic ring. Accordingly, a phenyl group on the asymmetric center in the homologated alkyl chain (Me12), leads to a further increase of use-dependent behavior versus the phenyl Mex derivative Me4. A fluorine atom in paraposition and one ortho-methyl group on the xylyloxy ring (Me15) increase potency and stereoselectivity versus Me4. Charge delocalization and greater flexibility of Me15 may increase its affinity for Tyr residues influencing steric drug interaction with the primary Phe residue of the binding site. Me12 and Me15 show limited selectivity against Na(v)-isoforms, possibly due to the highly conserved binding site on Na(v). To our knowledge, the new compounds are the most potent Mex-like Na(v) blockers obtained to date and deserve further investigation.
Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a widespread cytokine involved in bone formation, neurite outgrowth, and angiogenesis. In skeletal muscle, PTN is upregulated during myogenesis, post-synaptic induction, and regeneration after crushing, but little is known regarding its effects on muscle function. Here, we describe the effects of PTN on the slow-twitch soleus and fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles in mice over-expressing PTN under the control of a bone promoter. The mice were maintained in normal loading or disuse condition, induced by hindlimb unloading (HU) for 14 days. Effects of exposition to near-zero gravity during a 3-months spaceflight (SF) into the Mice Drawer System are also reported. In normal loading, PTN overexpression had no effect on muscle fiber cross-sectional area, but shifted soleus muscle toward a slower phenotype, as shown by an increased number of oxidative type 1 fibers, and increased gene expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV and citrate synthase. The cytokine increased soleus and EDL capillary-to-fiber ratio. PTN overexpression did not prevent soleus muscle atrophy, slow-to-fast transition, and capillary regression induced by SF and HU. Nevertheless, PTN exerted various effects on sarcolemma ion channel expression/function and resting cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration in soleus and EDL muscles, in normal loading and after HU. In conclusion, the results show very similar effects of HU and SF on mouse soleus muscle, including activation of specific gene programs. The EDL muscle is able to counterbalance this latter, probably by activating compensatory mechanisms. The numerous effects of PTN on muscle gene expression and functional parameters demonstrate the sensitivity of muscle fibers to the cytokine. Although little benefit was found in HU muscle disuse, PTN may emerge useful in various muscle diseases, because it exerts synergetic actions on muscle fibers and vessels, which could enforce oxidative metabolism and ameliorate muscle performance.
Emerging evidences suggest that Ca(2+)activated-K(+)-(BK) channel is involved in the regulation of cell viability. The changes of the cell viability observed under hyperkalemia (15 mEq/L) or hypokalemia (0.55 mEq/L) conditions were investigated in HEK293 cells expressing the hslo subunit (hslo-HEK293) in the presence or absence of BK channel modulators. The BK channel openers(10(-11)-10(-3)M) were: acetazolamide(ACTZ), Dichlorphenamide(DCP), methazolamide(MTZ), bendroflumethiazide(BFT), ethoxzolamide(ETX), hydrochlorthiazide(HCT), quercetin(QUERC), resveratrol(RESV) and NS1619; and the BK channel blockers(2 x 10(-7)M-5 x 10(-3)M) were: tetraethylammonium(TEA), iberiotoxin(IbTx) and charybdotoxin(ChTX). Experiments on cell viability and channel currents were performed using cell counting kit-8 and patch-clamp techniques, respectively. Hslo whole-cell current was potentiated by BK channel openers with different potency and efficacy in hslo-HEK293. The efficacy ranking of the openers at -60 mV(Vm) was BFT> ACTZ >DCP ?RESV? ETX> NS1619> MTZ? QUERC; HCT was not effective. Cell viability after 24 h of incubation under hyperkalemia was enhanced by 82+6% and 33+7% in hslo-HEK293 cells and HEK293 cells, respectively. IbTx, ChTX and TEA enhanced cell viability in hslo-HEK293. BK openers prevented the enhancement of the cell viability induced by hyperkalemia or IbTx in hslo-HEK293 showing an efficacy which was comparable with that observed as BK openers. BK channel modulators failed to affect cell currents and viability under hyperkalemia conditions in the absence of hslo subunit. In contrast, under hypokalemia cell viability was reduced by -22+4% and -23+6% in hslo-HEK293 and HEK293 cells, respectively; the BK channel modulators failed to affect this parameter in these cells. In conclusion, BK channel regulates cell viability under hyperkalemia but not hypokalemia conditions. BFT and ACTZ were the most potent drugs either in activating the BK current and in preventing the cell proliferation induced by hyperkalemia. These findings may have relevance in disorders associated with abnormal K(+) ion homeostasis including periodic paralysis and myotonia.
Slow-twitch muscles, devoted to postural maintenance, experience atrophy and weakness during muscle disuse due to bed-rest, aging or spaceflight. These conditions impair motion activities and can have survival implications. Human and animal studies demonstrate the anabolic role of IGF-1 on skeletal muscle suggesting its interest as a muscle disuse countermeasure. Thus, we tested the role of IGF-1 overexpression on skeletal muscle alteration due to hindlimb unloading (HU) by using MLC/mIgf-1 transgenic mice expressing IGF-1 under the transcriptional control of MLC promoter, selectively activated in skeletal muscle. HU produced atrophy in soleus muscle, in terms of muscle weight and fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) reduction, and up-regulation of atrophy gene MuRF1. In parallel, the disuse-induced slow-to-fast fiber transition was confirmed by an increase of the fast-type of the Myosin Heavy Chain (MHC), a decrease of PGC-1? expression and an increase of histone deacetylase-5 (HDAC5). Consistently, functional parameters such as the resting chloride conductance (gCl) together with ClC-1 chloride channel expression were increased and the contractile parameters were modified in soleus muscle of HU mice. Surprisingly, IGF-1 overexpression in HU mice was unable to counteract the loss of muscle weight and the decrease of fiber CSA. However, the expression of MuRF1 was recovered, suggesting early effects on muscle atrophy. Although the expression of PGC-1? and MHC were not improved in IGF-1-HU mice, the expression of HDAC5 was recovered. Importantly, the HU-induced increase of gCl was fully contrasted in IGF-1 transgenic mice, as well as the changes in contractile parameters. These results indicate that, even if local expression does not seem to attenuate HU-induced atrophy and slow-to-fast phenotype transition, it exerts early molecular effects on gene expression which can counteract the HU-induced modification of electrical and contractile properties. MuRF1 and HDAC5 can be attractive therapeutic targets for pharmacological countermeasures and then deserve further investigations.
Voltage-gated ion channels are important mediators of physiological functions in the central nervous system. The cyclic activation of these channels influences neurotransmitter release, neuron excitability, gene transcription, and plasticity, providing distinct brain areas with unique physiological and pharmacological response. A growing body of data has implicated ion channels in the susceptibility or pathogenesis of psychiatric diseases. Indeed, population studies support the association of polymorphisms in calcium and potassium channels with the genetic risk for bipolar disorders (BPDs) or schizophrenia. Moreover, point mutations in calcium, sodium, and potassium channel genes have been identified in some childhood developmental disorders. Finally, antibodies against potassium channel complexes occur in a series of autoimmune psychiatric diseases. Here we report recent studies assessing the role of calcium, sodium, and potassium channels in BPD, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders, and briefly summarize promising pharmacological strategies targeted on ion channels for the therapy of mental illness and related genetic tests.
The 2H-1,4-benzoxazine derivatives are novel drugs structurally similar to nucleotides; however, their actions on the pancreatic ? cell ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel and on glucose disposal are unknown. Therefore, the effects of the linear/branched alkyl substituents and the aliphatic/aromatic rings at position 2 of the 2H-1,4-benzoxazine nucleus on the activity of these molecules against the pancreatic ? cell KATP channel and the Kir6.2?C36 subunit were investigated using a patch-clamp technique. The effects of these compounds on glucose disposal that followed glucose loading by intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test and on fasting glycemia were investigated in normal mice. The 2-n-hexyl analog blocked the KATP (IC?? = 10.1 × 10?? M) and Kir6.2?C36 (IC?? = 9.6 × 10?? M) channels, which induced depolarization. In contrast, the 2-phenyl analog was a potent opener (drug concentration needed to enhance the current by 50% = 0.04 × 10?? M), which induced hyperpolarization. The ranked order of the potency/efficacy of the analog openers was 2-phenyl > 2-benzyl > 2-cyclohexylmethyl. The 2-phenylethyl and 2-isopropyl analogs were not effective as blockers/openers. The 2-n-hexyl (2-10 mg/kg) and 2-phenyl analogs (2-30 mg/kg) reduced and enhanced the glucose areas under the curves, respectively, after glucose loading in mice. These compounds did not affect the fasting glycemia as is observed with glibenclamide. The linear alkyl chain and the aromatic ring at position 2 of the 1,4-benzoxazine nucleus are the determinants, which confer the KATP channel blocking action with glucose-lowering effects and the opening action with increased glucose levels, respectively. The opening/blocking actions of these compounds mimic those that were observed with ATP and ADP. The results support the use of these compounds as novel antidiabetic drugs.
Drug screening on sodium currents of native myofibers by means of voltage-clamp recordings is predictive of pre-clinical anti-myotonic activity in vivo and ex vivo. By this approach we identified the N-benzylated beta-proline derivative of tocainide (To10) as the most potent use-dependent blocker of Nav1.4 so far. We tested novel analogs with modifications on the pharmacophore groups of To10. The substitution of the proline cycle with less planar piperidine or piperazine rings disclosed the importance of a two carbon atom distance and/or an additional nitrogen atom for potency. Structural changes on the xylididic group corroborated the role of a proper electronic cloud for hydrophobic interactions with the binding site. The N-benzylated moiety lead to a stereoselective behavior only in the rigid alpha-proline analog To11 vs. To10 and N-benzylated tocainide (To12). The results confirm the strict structural requirements of Nav1.4 blockers and allow to refine the drug design toward novel anti-myotonic drugs.
A pivotal role has been ascribed to oxidative stress in determining the imbalance between protein synthesis and degradation leading to muscle atrophy in many pathological conditions and in disuse. However, a large variability in disuse-induced alteration of redox homeostasis through muscles, models and species emerges from the literature. Whereas the causal role of oxidative stress appears well established in the mechanical ventilation model, findings are less compelling in the hindlimb unloaded mice and very limited in humans. The mere coexistence of muscle atrophy, indirect indexes of increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and impairment of antioxidant defence systems, in fact, does not unequivocally support a causal role of oxidative stress in the phenomenon. We hypothesise that in some muscles, models and species only, due to a large redox imbalance, the leading phenomena are activation of proteolysis and massive oxidation of proteins, which would become more susceptible to degradation. In other conditions, due to a lower extent and variable time course of ROS production, different ROS-dependent, but also -independent intracellular pathways might dominate determining the variable extent of atrophy and even dispensable protein oxidation. The ROS production and removal are complex and finely tuned phenomena. They are indeed important intracellular signals and redox balance maintains normal muscle homeostasis and can underlie either positive or negative adaptations to exercise. A precise approach to determine the levels of ROS in living cells in various conditions appears to be of paramount importance to define and support such hypotheses.
Hindlimb unloading (HU) in rats induces severe atrophy and a slow-to-fast phenotype transition in postural slow-twitch muscles, as occurs in human disuse conditions, such as spaceflight or bed rest. In rats, a reduction of soleus muscle weight and a decrease of cross-sectional area (CSA) were observed as signs of atrophy. An increased expression of the fast-isoform of myosin heavy chain (MHC) showed the phenotype transition. In parallel the resting cytosolic calcium concentration (restCa) was decreased and the resting chloride conductance (gCl), which regulates muscle excitability, was increased toward the values of the fast-twitch muscles. Here, we investigated the possible role of taurine, which is known to modulate calcium homeostasis and gCl, in the restoration of muscle impairment due to 14-days-HU. We found elevated taurine content and higher expression of the taurine transporter TauT in the soleus muscle as compared to the fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of control rats. Taurine level was reduced in the HU soleus muscle, although, TauT expression was not modified. Taurine oral supplementation (5 g/kg) fully prevented this loss, and preserved resting gCl and restCa together with the slow MHC phenotype. Taurine supplementation did not prevent the HU-induced drop of muscle weight or fiber CSA, but it restored the expression of MURF-1, an atrophy-related gene, suggesting a possible early protective effect of taurine. In conclusion, taurine prevented the HU-induced phenotypic transition of soleus muscle and might attenuate the atrophic process. These findings argue for the beneficial use of taurine in the treatment of disuse-induced muscle dysfunction.
Statins and fibrates can cause myopathy. To further understand the causes of the damage we performed a proteome analysis in fast-twitch skeletal muscle of rats chronically treated with different hypolipidemic drugs. The proteomic maps were obtained from extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles of rats treated for 2-months with 10mg/kg atorvastatin, 20 mg/kg fluvastatin, 60 mg/kg fenofibrate and control rats. The proteins differentially expressed were identified by mass spectrometry and further analyzed by immunoblot analysis. We found a significant modification in 40 out of 417 total spots analyzed in atorvastatin treated rats, 15 out of 436 total spots in fluvastatin treated rats and 21 out of 439 total spots in fenofibrate treated rats in comparison to controls. All treatments induced a general tendency to a down-regulation of protein expression; in particular, atorvastatin affected the protein pattern more extensively with respect to the other treatments. Energy production systems, both oxidative and glycolytic enzymes and creatine kinase, were down-regulated following atorvastatin administration, whereas fenofibrate determined mostly alterations in glycolytic enzymes and creatine kinase, oxidative enzymes being relatively spared. Additionally, all treatments resulted in some modifications of proteins involved in cellular defenses against oxidative stress, such as heat shock proteins, and of myofibrillar proteins. These results were confirmed by immunoblot analysis. In conclusions, the proteomic analysis showed that either statin or fibrate administration can modify the expression of proteins essential for skeletal muscle function suggesting potential mechanisms for statin myopathy.
The periodic paralysis (PP) are rare autosomal-dominant disorders associated to mutations in the skeletal muscle sodium, calcium, and potassium channel genes characterized by muscle fiber depolarization with un-excitability, episodes of weakness with variations in serum potassium concentrations. Recent advances in thyrotoxic PP and hypokalemic PP (hypoPP) confirm the involvement of the muscle potassium channels in the pathogenesis of the diseases and their role as target of action for drugs of therapeutic interest. The novelty in the gating pore currents theory help to explain the disease symptoms, and open the possibility to more specifically target the disease. It is now known that the fiber depolarization in the hypoPP is due to an unbalance between the novel identified depolarizing gating pore currents (I(gp)) carried by protons or Na(+) ions flowing through aberrant alternative pathways of the mutant subunits and repolarizing inwardly rectifying potassium channel (Kir) currents which also includes the ATP-sensitive subtype. Abnormal activation of the I(gp) or deficiency in the Kir channels predispose to fiber depolarization. One pharmacological strategy is based on blocking the I(gp) without affecting normal channel gating. It remains safe and effective the proposal of targeting the K(ATP), Kir channels, or BK channels by drugs capable to specifically open at nanomolar concentrations the skeletal muscle subtypes with less side effects.
Muscle atrophy occurring in several pathophysiological conditions determines decreases in muscle protein synthesis, increases in the rate of proteolysis and changes in muscle fiber composition. To determine the effect of muscle atrophy induced by hindlimb unloading (HU) on membrane proteins from rat soleus, a proteomic approach based on two-dimensional Blue Native/SDS-PAGE was performed. Proteomic analysis of normal and HU soleus muscle demonstrates statistically significant changes in the relative level of 36 proteins. Among the proteins identified by mass spectrometry, most are involved in pathways associated with muscle fuel utilization, indicating a shift in metabolism from oxidative to glycolytic. Moreover, immunoblotting analysis revealed an increase in aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel and an alteration of proteins belonging to the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). AQP4 and DGC are regulated in soleus muscle subjected to simulated microgravity in response to compensatory mechanisms induced by muscle atrophy, and they parallel the slow-to-fast twitch conversion that occurs in soleus fibers during HU. In conclusion, the alterations of soleus muscle membrane proteome may play a pivotal role in the mechanisms involved in disuse-induced muscle atrophy.
[2-(2-Aminopropoxy)-1,3-phenylene]dimethanol 1 and 4-(2-aminopropoxy)-3-(hydroxymethyl)-5-methylphenol 2, two dihydroxylated analogs of mexiletine - a well known class IB anti-arrhythmic drug - were synthesized and used as pharmacological tools to investigate the blocking-activity requirements of human skeletal muscle, voltage-gated sodium channel. The very low blocking activity shown by newly synthesized compounds corroborates the hypothesis that the presence of a phenolic group in the para-position to the aromatic moiety and/or benzylic hydroxyl groups on the aromatic moiety of local anesthetic-like drugs impairs either the transport to or the interaction with the binding site in the pore of Na(+) channels.
Oxidative stress was proposed as a trigger of muscle impairment in various muscle diseases. The hindlimb-unloaded (HU) rodent is a model of disuse inducing atrophy and slow-to-fast transition of postural muscles. Here, mice unloaded for 14 days were chronically treated with the selective antioxidant trolox. After HU, atrophy was more pronounced in the slow-twitch soleus muscle (Sol) than in the fast-twitch gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles, and was absent in extensor digitorum longus muscle. In accord with the phenotype transition, HU Sol showed a reduced expression of myosin heavy chain type 2A (MHC-2A) and increase in MHC-2X and MHC-2B isoforms. In parallel, HU Sol displayed an increased sarcolemma chloride conductance related to an increased expression of ClC-1 channels, changes in excitability parameters, a positive shift of the mechanical threshold, and a decrease of the resting cytosolic calcium concentration. Moreover, the level of lipoperoxidation increased proportionally to the degree of atrophy of each muscle type. As expected, trolox treatment fully prevented oxidative stress in HU mice. Atrophy was not prevented but the drug significantly attenuated Sol phenotypic transition and excitability changes. Trolox treatment had no effect on control mice. These results suggest possible benefits of antioxidants in protecting muscle against disuse.
The involvement of ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channels in the atrophy of slow-twitch (MHC-I) soleus (SOL) and fast-twitch (MHC-IIa) flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) muscles was investigated in vivo in 14-day-hindlimb-unloaded (14-HU) rats, an animal model of disuse, and in vitro in drug-induced muscle atrophy. Patch-clamp and gene expression experiments were performed in combination with measurements of fibre diameters used as an index of atrophy, and with MHC labelling in 14-HU rats and controls. A down-regulation of K(ATP) channel subunits Kir6.2, SUR1 and SUR2B with marked atrophy and incomplete phenotype transition were observed in SOL of 14-HU rats. The observed changes in K(ATP) currents were well correlated with changes in fibre diameters and SUR1 expression, as well as with MHC-IIa expression. Half of the SOL fibres of 14-HU rats had reduced diameter and K(ATP) currents and were labelled by MHC-I antibodies. Non-atrophic fibres were labelled by MHC-IIa (22%) antibodies and had enhanced K(ATP) currents, or were labelled by MHC-I (28%) antibodies but had normal current. FDB was not affected in 14-HU rats and this is related to the high expression/activity of Kir6.2/SUR1 subunits characterizing this muscle phenotype. The long-term incubation of the control muscles in vitro with the K(ATP) channel blocker glibenclamide (10(6)m) reduced the K(ATP) currents with atrophy and these effects were prevented by the K(ATP) channel opener diazoxide (10(4)m). The in vivo down-regulation of SUR1, and possibly of Kir6.2 and SUR2B, or their in vitro pharmacological blockade activates atrophic signalling in skeletal muscle. All these findings suggest a new role for the K(ATP) channel as a molecular sensor of atrophy.
Two-dimensional proteomic maps of soleus (Sol), a slow oxidative muscle, and gastrocnemius (Gas), a fast glycolytic muscle of control mice (CTRL), of mice hindlimb unloaded for 14 days (HU mice) and of HU mice treated with trolox (HU-TRO), a selective and potent antioxidant, were compared. The proteomic analysis identified a large number of differentially expressed proteins in a pool of approximately 800 proteins in both muscles. The protein pattern of Sol and Gas adapted very differently to hindlimb unloading. The most interesting adaptations related to the cellular defense systems against oxidative stress and energy metabolism. In HU Sol, the antioxidant defense systems and heat shock proteins were downregulated, and protein oxidation index and lipid peroxidation were higher compared with CTRL Sol. In contrast, in HU Gas the antioxidant defense systems were upregulated, and protein oxidation index and lipid peroxidation were normal. Notably, both Sol and Gas muscles and their muscle fibres were atrophic. Antioxidant administration prevented the impairment of the antioxidant defense systems in Sol and further enhanced them in Gas. Accordingly, it restored normal levels of protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation in Sol. However, muscle and muscle fibre atrophy was not prevented either in Sol or in Gas. A general downsizing of all energy production systems in Sol and a shift towards glycolytic metabolism in Gas were observed. Trolox administration did not prevent metabolic adaptations in either Sol or Gas. The present findings suggest that oxidative stress is not a major determinant of muscle atrophy in HU mice.
The preparation of a new series of 2-aryloxy-3-phenyl-propanoic acids, resulting from the introduction of a linker into the diphenyl system of the previously reported PPARalpha/gamma dual agonist 1, allowed the identification of new ligands with improved potency on PPARalpha and unchanged activity on PPARgamma. For the most interesting stereoisomers S-2 and S-4, X-ray studies in PPARgamma and docking experiments in PPARalpha provided a molecular explanation for their different behavior as full and partial agonists of PPARalpha and PPARgamma, respectively. Due to the adverse effects provoked by hypolipidemic drugs on skeletal muscle function, we also investigated the blocking activity of S-2 and S-4 on skeletal muscle membrane chloride channel conductance and found that these ligands have a pharmacological profile more beneficial compared to fibrates currently used in therapy.
Orphenadrine is a drug acting on multiple targets, including muscarinic, histaminic, and NMDA receptors. It is used in the treatment of Parkinsons disease and in musculoskeletal disorders. It is also used as an analgesic, although its mechanism of action is still unknown. Both physiological and pharmacological results have demonstrated a critical role for voltage-gated sodium channels in many types of chronic pain syndromes. We tested the hypothesis that orphenadrine may block voltage-gated sodium channels. By using patch-clamp experiments, we evaluated the effects of the drug on whole-cell sodium currents in HEK293 cells expressing the skeletal muscle (Nav1.4), cardiac (Nav1.5) and neuronal (Nav1.1 and Nav1.7) subtypes of human sodium channels, as well as on whole-cell tetrodotoxin (TTX)-resistant sodium currents likely conducted by Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 channel subtypes in primary culture of rat DRG sensory neurons. The results indicate that orphenadrine inhibits sodium channels in a concentration-, voltage- and frequency-dependent manner. By using site-directed mutagenesis, we further show that orphenadrine binds to the same receptor as the local anesthetics. Orphenadrine affinities for resting and inactivated sodium channels were higher compared to those of known sodium channels blockers, such as mexiletine and flecainide. Low, clinically relevant orphenadrine concentration produces a significant block of Nav1.7, Nav1.8, and Nav1.9 channels, which are critical for experiencing pain sensations, indicating a role for sodium channel blockade in the clinical efficacy of orphenadrine as analgesic compound. On the other hand, block of Nav1.1 and Nav1.5 may contribute to the proconvulsive and proarrhythmic adverse reactions, especially observed during overdose.
Lubeluzole, which acts on various targets in vitro, including voltage-gated sodium channels, was initially proposed as a neuroprotectant. The lubeluzole structure contains a benzothiazole moiety [N-methyl-1,3-benzothiazole-2-amine (R-like)] related to riluzole and a phenoxy-propranol-amine moiety [(RS)-1-(3,4-difluorophenoxy)-3-(piperidin-1-yl)propan-2-ol (A-core)] recalling propranolol. Both riluzole and propranolol are efficient sodium channel blockers. We studied in detail the effects of lubeluzole (racemic mixture and single isomers), the aforementioned lubeluzole moieties, and riluzole on sodium channels to increase our knowledge of drug-channel molecular interactions. Compounds were tested on hNav1.4 sodium channels, and on F1586C or Y1593C mutants functionally expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, using the patch-clamp technique. Lubeluzole blocked sodium channels with a remarkable effectiveness. No stereoselectivity was found. Compared with mexiletine, the dissociation constant for inactivated channels was ~600 times lower (~11 nM), conferring to lubeluzole a huge use-dependence of great therapeutic value. The F1586C mutation only partially impaired the use-dependent block, suggesting that additional amino acids are critically involved in high-affinity binding. Lubeluzole moieties were modest sodium channel blockers. Riluzole blocked sodium channels efficiently but lacked use dependence, similar to R-like. F1586C fully abolished A-core use dependence, suggesting that A-core binds to the local anesthetic receptor. Thus, lubeluzole likely binds to the local anesthetic receptor through its phenoxy-propranol-amine moiety, with consequent use-dependent behavior. Nevertheless, compared with other known sodium channel blockers, lubeluzole adds a third pharmacophoric point through its benzothiazole moiety, which greatly enhances high-affinity binding and use-dependent block. If sufficient isoform specificity can be attained, the huge use-dependent block may help in the development of new sodium channel inhibitors to provide pharmacotherapy for membrane excitability disorders, such as myotonia, epilepsy, or chronic pain.
The sodium channel blocker mexiletine is considered the first-line drug in myotonic syndromes, a group of muscle disorders characterized by membrane over-excitability. We previously showed that the ?-adrenoceptor modulators, clenbuterol and propranolol, block voltage-gated sodium channels in a manner reminiscent to mexiletine, whereas salbutamol and nadolol do not. We now developed a pharmacological rat model of myotonia congenita to perform in vivo preclinical test of antimyotonic drugs. Myotonia was induced by i.p. injection of 30 mg/kg of anthracene-9-carboxylic acid (9-AC), a muscle chloride channel blocker, and evaluated by measuring the time of righting reflex (TRR). The TRR was prolonged from <0.5 s in control conditions to a maximum of ?4 s, thirty minutes after 9-AC injection, then gradually recovered in a few hours. Oral administration of mexiletine twenty minutes after 9-AC injection significantly hampered the TRR prolongation, with an half-maximum efficient dose (ED(50)) of 12 mg/kg. Both propranolol and clenbuterol produced a dose-dependent antimyotonic effect similar to mexiletine, with ED(50) values close to 20 mg/kg. Antimyotonic effects of 40 mg/kg mexiletine and propranolol lasted for 2 h. We also demonstrated, using patch-clamp methods, that both propranolol enantiomers exerted a similar block of skeletal muscle hNav1.4 channels expressed in HEK293 cells. The two enantiomers (15 mg/kg) also showed a similar antimyotonic activity in vivo in the myotonic rat. Among the drugs tested, the R(+)-enantiomer of propranolol may merit further investigation in humans, because it exerts antimyotonic effect in the rat model, while lacking of significant activity on the ?-adrenergic pathway. This study provides a new and useful in vivo preclinical model of myotonia congenita in order to individuate the most promising antimyotonic drugs to be tested in humans.
ATP-sensitive-K(+) (KATP) channels couple metabolism to the electrical activity of the cells. This channel is associated with glycolytic enzymes to form complexes regulating the channel activity in various tissues. The pyruvate-kinase (PK) enzyme is an antigen in the Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated Streptococcal infection known as PANDAS which is characterized by an abnormal production of auto-antibodies against PK. Here, the effects of the anti-pyruvate kinase antibody (anti-PK-ab) on the muscle and neuronal KATP channels were investigated in native rat skeletal muscle fibres and human neuroblastoma cell-line (SH-SY5Y), respectively. Furthermore, the interaction of PK with the inwardly rectifier potassium channel (Kir6.1/Kir6.2) subunits of the KATP channels was investigated by co-immunoprecipitation experiments in mouse brain using the anti-PK-ab. Patch-clamp experiments showed that the short-term incubation (1h) of the fibres with the anti-PK-ab at the dilutions of 1:500 and 1:300 enhanced the KATP current of 19.6% and 33.5%, respectively. As opposite, the long-term incubation (24h) of the fibres with the anti-PK-ab at the dilutions of 1:500 and 1:300 reduced the KATP current of 16% and 24%, respectively, reducing the diameter with atrophy. The direct application of the anti-PK-ab to the excised patches in the absence of intracellular ATP caused channel block, while in the presence of nucleotide channel opened. In neuronal cell line, in the short-term the anti-PK-ab potentiated KATP currents without affecting survival, while in the long-term the anti-PK-ab reduced KATP currents inducing neuronal death. Opening/blocking actions of the anti-PK antibodies on the KATP channels were observed, the blocking action causes fibre atrophy and neuronal death. We demonstrated that PK and Kir subunits are physically/functionally coupled in neurons. The KATP/PK complex can be proposed a novel target in the autoimmune diseases associated with anti-PK production as in PANDAS.
The molecular composition and drug responses of calcium-activated K(+) (BK) channels of skeletal muscle are unknown. Patch-clamp experiments combined with transcript scanning of the Kcnma1 gene encoding the alpha subunit of the BK channel were performed in rat slow-twitch soleus (Sol) and fast-twitch flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) skeletal muscles. Five splicing products of the Kcnma1 gene were isolated from Sol and FDB: the e17, e22, +29 aa, Slo27 and Slo0 variants. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the expression of e22 and Slo0 were 80-90% higher in FDB than Sol, whereas the expression of Slo27 was 60% higher in Sol than FDB, and the +29 aa variant was equally expressed in both muscle types. No beta 1-4 subunits were detected. In Sol, a large BK current with low Ca(2+) sensitivity was recorded. The BK channel of Sol also showed a reduced response to BK channel openers, such as NS1619, acetazolamide and related drugs. In FDB, a reduced BK current with high Ca(2+) sensitivity and an enhanced drug response was recorded. The total BK RNA content, which was 200% higher in Sol than in FDB, correlated with the BK currents in both muscles. Drug responses primarily correlated with e22 and Slo0 expression levels in FDB and to Slo27 expression in Sol muscle. In conclusion, phenotype-dependent BK channel biophysical and pharmacological properties correlated with the expression levels of the variants in muscles. These findings may be relevant to conditions affecting postural muscles, such as prolonged bed-rest, and to diseases affecting fast-twitch muscles, such as periodic paralysis. Down-regulation or up-regulation of the variants associated with pathological conditions may affect channel composition and drug responses.
We previously showed that the ?-adrenoceptor modulators, clenbuterol and propranolol, directly blocked voltage-gated sodium channels, whereas salbutamol and nadolol did not (Desaphy et al., 2003), suggesting the presence of two hydroxyl groups on the aromatic moiety of the drugs as a molecular requisite for impeding sodium channel block. To verify such an hypothesis, we synthesized five new mexiletine analogs by adding one or two hydroxyl groups to the aryloxy moiety of the sodium channel blocker and tested these compounds on hNav1.4 channels expressed in HEK293 cells. Concentration-response relationships were constructed using 25-ms-long depolarizing pulses at -30?mV applied from an holding potential of -120?mV at 0.1?Hz (tonic block) and 10?Hz (use-dependent block) stimulation frequencies. The half-maximum inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)) were linearly correlated to drug lipophilicity: the less lipophilic the drug, minor was the block. The same compounds were also tested on F1586C and Y1593C hNav1.4 channel mutants, to gain further information on the molecular interactions of mexiletine with its receptor within the sodium channel pore. In particular, replacement of Phe1586 and Tyr1593 by non-aromatic cysteine residues may help in the understanding of the role of ?-? or ?-cation interactions in mexiletine binding. Alteration of tonic block suggests that the aryloxy moiety of mexiletine may interact either directly or indirectly with Phe1586 in the closed sodium channel to produce low-affinity binding block, and that this interaction depends on the electrostatic potential of the drug aromatic tail. Alteration of use-dependent block suggests that addition of hydroxyl groups to the aryloxy moiety may modify high-affinity binding of the drug amine terminal to Phe1586 through cooperativity between the two pharmacophores, this effect being mainly related to drug lipophilicity. Mutation of Tyr1593 further impaired such cooperativity. In conclusion, these results confirm our former hypothesis by showing that the presence of hydroxyl groups to the aryloxy moiety of mexiletine greatly reduced sodium channel block, and provide molecular insights into the intimate interaction of local anesthetics with their receptor.
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