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.
Anabolic drugs may counteract muscle wasting and dysfunction in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); however, steroids have unwanted side effects. We focused on GLPG0492, a new non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator that is currently under development for musculo-skeletal diseases such as sarcopenia and cachexia. GLPG0492 was tested in the exercised mdx mouse model of DMD in a 4-week trial at a single high dose (30 mg/kg, 6 day/week s.c.), and the results were compared with those from the administration of ?-methylprednisolone (PDN; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) and nandrolone (NAND, 5 mg/kg, s.c.). This assessment was followed by a 12-week dose-dependence study (0.3-30 mg/kg s.c.). The outcomes were evaluated in vivo and ex vivo on functional, histological and biochemical parameters. Similar to PDN and NAND, GLPG0492 significantly increased mouse strength. In acute exhaustion tests, a surrogate of the 6-min walking test used in DMD patients, GLPG0492 preserved running performance, whereas vehicle- or comparator-treated animals showed a significant increase in fatigue (30-50%). Ex vivo, all drugs resulted in a modest but significant increase of diaphragm force. In parallel, a decrease in the non-muscle area and markers of fibrosis was observed in GLPG0492- and NAND-treated mice. The drugs exerted minor effects on limb muscles; however, electrophysiological biomarkers were ameliorated in extensor digitorum longus muscle. The longer dose-dependence study confirmed the effect on mdx mouse strength and resistance to fatigue and demonstrated the efficacy of lower drug doses on in vivo and ex vivo functional parameters. These results support the interest of further studies of GLPG0492 as a potential treatment for DMD.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential toxicological effects on fish related to the leakage of yperite from rusted bomb shells dumped at sea. Both in vivo and field studies have been performed. As for the in vivo experiment, specimen of European eel were subcutaneously injected with 0.015, 0.15 and 1.5mg/kg of yperite and sacrificed after 24 and 48 h. In the field study, specimen of Conger eel were collected from a dumping site in the Southern Adriatic Sea. The presence/absence of yperite in tissues, genotoxicity, detoxification enzymes, histological alterations and gross abnormalities were investigated. Results of the in vivo experiment showed a significant increase of EROD activity at both 24h and 48 h. UGT activity increased significantly at 48 h post injection. An acute inflammatory response after 24h in skin layers and muscle was observed, associated to cell degeneration and necrosis after 48 h at the highest dose. On field, comet assay revealed genotoxicity in gills of fish from the dumping site. Specimen from the dumping site showed significantly higher EROD activities compared to controls, deep ulcers and papules on skin together with liver and spleen histopathological lesions.
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.
Inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) are clinically used to control cardiomyopathy in patients of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Various evidences suggest potential usefulness of long-term treatment with ACE inhibitors to reduce advanced fibrosis of dystrophic muscle in the mdx mouse model. However, angiotensin II is known to exert pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative actions that might contribute to early events of dystrophic muscle degeneration. The present study has been aimed at evaluating the effects of an early treatment with enalapril on the pathology signs of exercised mdx mouse model. The effects of 1 and 5 mg/kg enalapril i.p. for 4-8 weeks have been compared with those of 1 mg/kg ?-methyl-prednisolone (PDN), as positive control. Enalapril caused a dose-dependent increase in fore limb strength, the highest dose leading to a recovery score similar to that observed with PDN. A dose-dependent reduction of superoxide anion production was observed by dihydroethidium staining in tibialis anterior muscle of enalapril-treated mice, approaching the effect observed with PND. In parallel, a significant reduction of the activated form of the pro-inflammatory Nuclear Factor-kB has been observed in gastrocnemious muscle. Histologically, 5 mg/kg enalapril reduced the area of muscle necrosis in both gastrocnemious muscle and diaphragm, without significant effect on non-muscle area. In parallel no significant changes have been observed in both muscle TGF-?1 and myonuclei positive to phosphorylated Smad2/3. Myofiber functional indices were also monitored by microelectrodes recordings. A dose-dependent recovery of macroscopic chloride conductance has been observed upon enalapril treatment in EDL muscle, with minor effects being exerted in diaphragm. However a modest effect, if any, was found on mechanical threshold, a functional index of calcium homeostasis. No recovery was observed in creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. Finally the results suggest the ability of enalapril to blunt angiotensin-II dependent activation of pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant pathways which may be earlier events with respect to the pro-fibrotic ones, and may in part account for both functional impairment and muscle necrosis. The PDN-like profile may corroborate the combined use of the two classes of drugs in DMD patients so to potentiate the beneficial effects at skeletal muscle level, while reducing both spontaneous and PDN-aggravated cardiomyopathy.
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 aim of the present study was to evaluate the environmental threat to benthic species from chemical weapons dumped in the southern Adriatic Sea. An ecotoxicological approach using chemical analysis and biological responses was applied, in two sentinel species: the Blackbelly rosefish Helicolenus dactylopterus and European conger Conger conger. Specimen were collected in a stretch of sea, where had been dumped war materials and from a reference site free of ordnance. Residues of yperite, Hg and As were measured in fish fillets. Skin, liver, kidney and spleen were examined for histopathological and macroscopical lesions. Liver detoxifying capacities (EROD and UDPGT) and genotoxicity (comet assay) were also investigated. As and Hg levels were three-four times higher than those from the reference site in both species (p<0.001). Both species captured in dumping site showed clear signs of chronic illness according to the health assessment index (HAI). Deep ulcers and nodules were observed on skin and external organs. Histological lesions such as periportal and bile duct fibrosis, pericholangitis, steatosis, granuloma and elevated splenic MMCs were detected in liver and spleen. Significantly higher EROD activities were also found in both species from dumping site (p<0.01). Comet assay revealed genotoxicty in gills of C. conger from dumping site, indicating uptake of chemical warfare agents through fish gills. European conger was found to be a more sensitive bioindicator of this type of contamination than the Blackbelly rosefish.
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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