Metabolic Changes Associated With Muscle Expression of SOD1G93A.
ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disorder, classified into sporadic or familial forms and characterized by motor neurons death, muscle atrophy, weakness, and paralysis. Among the familial cases of ALS, approximately 20% are caused by dominant mutations in the gene coding for superoxide dismutase (SOD1) protein. Of note, mutant SOD1 toxicity is not necessarily limited to the central nervous system. ALS is indeed a multi-systemic and multifactorial disease that affects whole body physiology and induces severe metabolic changes in several tissues, including skeletal muscle. Nevertheless, whether alterations in the plasticity, heterogeneity, and metabolism of muscle fibers are the result of motor neuron degeneration or alternatively occur independently of it remain to be elucidated. To address this issue, we made use of a mouse model (MLC/SOD1G93A) that overexpresses the SOD1 mutant gene selectively in skeletal muscle. We found an alteration in the metabolic properties of skeletal muscle characterized by alteration in fiber type composition and metabolism. Indeed, we observed an alteration of muscle glucose metabolism associated with the induction of Phosphofructokinases and Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 expression. The upregulation of Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 led to the inhibition of Pyruvate conversion into Acetyl-CoA. Moreover, we demonstrated that the MLC/SOD1G93A transgene was associated with an increase of lipid catabolism and with the inhibition of fat deposition inside muscle fibers. All together these data demonstrate that muscle expression of the SOD1G93A gene induces metabolic changes, along with a preferential use of lipid energy fuel by muscle fibers. We provided evidences that muscle metabolic alterations occurred before disease symptoms and independently of motor neuron degeneration, indicating that skeletal muscle is likely an important therapeutic target in ALS.
Project description:The discovery of pathogenetic mechanisms is essential to identify new therapeutic approaches in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Here we investigated the role of the most important ion channels in skeletal muscle of an ALS animal model (MLC/SOD1G93A) carrying a mutated SOD1 exclusively in this tissue, avoiding motor-neuron involvement. Ion channels are fundamental proteins for muscle function, and also to sustain neuromuscular junction and nerve integrity. By a multivariate statistical analysis, using machine learning algorithms, we identified the discriminant genes in MLC/SOD1G93A mice. Surprisingly, the expression of ClC-1 chloride channel, present only in skeletal muscle, was reduced. Also, the expression of Protein Kinase-C, known to control ClC-1 activity, was increased, causing its inhibition. The functional characterization confirmed the reduction of ClC-1 activity, leading to hyperexcitability and impaired relaxation. The increased expression of ion channel coupled AMPA-receptor may contribute to sustained depolarization and functional impairment. Also, the decreased expression of irisin, a muscle-secreted peptide protecting brain function, may disturb muscle-nerve connection. Interestingly, the in-vitro application of chelerythrine or acetazolamide, restored ClC-1 activity and sarcolemma hyperexcitability in these mice. These findings show that ion channel function impairment in skeletal muscle may lead to motor-neuron increased vulnerability, and opens the possibility to investigate on new compounds as promising therapy.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common fatal motor neuron disease in adults. Numerous studies indicate that ALS is a systemic disease that affects whole body physiology and metabolic homeostasis. Using a mouse model of the disease (SOD1(G86R)), we investigated muscle physiology and motor behavior with respect to muscle metabolic capacity. We found that at 65 days of age, an age described as asymptomatic, SOD1(G86R) mice presented with improved endurance capacity associated with an early inhibition in the capacity for glycolytic muscle to use glucose as a source of energy and a switch in fuel preference toward lipids. Indeed, in glycolytic muscles we showed progressive induction of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 expression. Phosphofructokinase 1 was inhibited, and the expression of lipid handling molecules was increased. This mechanism represents a chronic pathologic alteration in muscle metabolism that is exacerbated with disease progression. Further, inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 activity with dichloroacetate delayed symptom onset while improving mitochondrial dysfunction and ameliorating muscle denervation. In this study, we provide the first molecular basis for the particular sensitivity of glycolytic muscles to ALS pathology.
Project description:Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are responsible for 20% of familial ALS. Given the gain of toxic function in this dominantly inherited disease, lowering SOD1 mRNA and protein is predicted to provide therapeutic benefit. An early generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting SOD1 was identified and tested in a phase I human clinical trial, based on modest protection in animal models of SOD1 ALS. Although the clinical trial provided encouraging safety data, the drug was not advanced because there was progress in designing other, more potent ASOs for CNS application. We have developed next-generation SOD1 ASOs that more potently reduce SOD1 mRNA and protein and extend survival by more than 50 days in SOD1G93A rats and by almost 40 days in SOD1G93A mice. We demonstrated that the initial loss of compound muscle action potential in SOD1G93A mice is reversed after a single dose of SOD1 ASO. Furthermore, increases in serum phospho-neurofilament heavy chain levels, a promising biomarker for ALS, are stopped by SOD1 ASO therapy. These results define a highly potent, new SOD1 ASO ready for human clinical trial and suggest that at least some components of muscle response can be reversed by therapy.
Project description:While the death of motor neuron is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), defects in other cell types or organs may also actively contribute to ALS disease progression. ALS patients experience progressive skeletal muscle wasting that may not only exacerbate neuronal degeneration, but likely has a significant impact on bone function. In our previous published study, we have discovered severe bone loss in an ALS mouse model with overexpression of ALS-associated mutation SOD1G93A (G93A). Here we further provide a mechanistic understanding of the bone loss in ALS animal and cellular models. Combining mitochondrial fluorescent indicators and confocal live cell imaging, we discovered abnormalities in mitochondrial network and dynamics in primary osteocytes derived from the same ALS mouse model G93A. Those mitochondrial defects occur in ALS mice after the onset of neuromuscular symptoms, indicating that mitochondria in bone cells respond to muscle atrophy during ALS disease progression. To examine whether ALS mutation has a direct contribution to mitochondrial dysfunction independent of muscle atrophy, we evaluated mitochondrial morphology and motility in cultured osteocytes (MLO-Y4) with overexpression of mitochondrial targeted SOD1G93A. Compared with osteocytes overexpressing the wild type SOD1 as a control, the SOD1G93A osteocytes showed similar defects in mitochondrial network and dynamic as that of the primary osteocytes derived from the ALS mouse model. In addition, we further discovered that overexpression of SOD1G93A enhanced the expression level of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), a key protein promoting mitochondrial fission activity, and reduced the expression level of optic atrophy protein 1 (OPA1), a key protein related to mitochondrial fusion. A specific mitochondrial fission inhibitor (Mdivi-1) partially reversed the effect of SOD1G93A on mitochondrial network and dynamics, indicating that SOD1G93A likely promotes mitochondrial fission, but suppresses the fusion activity. Our data provide the first evidence that mitochondria show abnormality in osteocytes derived from an ALS mouse model. The accumulation of mutant SOD1G93A protein inside mitochondria directly causes dysfunction in mitochondrial dynamics in cultured MLO-Y4 osteocytes. In addition, the ALS mutation SOD1G93A-mediated dysfunction in mitochondrial dynamics is associated with an enhanced apoptosis in osteocytes, which could be a potential mechanism underlying the bone loss during ALS progression.
Project description:Recent findings suggest a pathologic role of skeletal muscle in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) onset and progression. However, the exact mechanism by which this occurs remains elusive due to limited human-based studies. To this end, phenotypic ALS skeletal muscle models were developed from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from healthy individuals (WT) and ALS patients harboring mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. Although proliferative, SOD1 myoblasts demonstrated delayed and reduced fusion efficiency compared to WT. Additionally, SOD1 myotubes exhibited significantly reduced length and cross-section. Also, SOD1 myotubes had loosely arranged myosin heavy chain and reduced acetylcholine receptor expression per immunocytochemical analysis. Functional analysis indicated considerably reduced contractile force and synchrony in SOD1 myotubes. Mitochondrial assessment indicated reduced inner mitochondrial membrane potential (??m) and metabolic plasticity in the SOD1-iPSC derived myotubes. This work presents the first well-characterized in vitro iPSC-derived muscle model that demonstrates SOD1 toxicity effects on human muscle regeneration, contractility and metabolic function in ALS. Current findings align with previous ALS patient biopsy studies and suggest an active contribution of skeletal muscle in NMJ dysfunction. Further, the results validate this model as a human-relevant platform for ALS research and drug discovery studies.
Project description:Many Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients experience hypermetabolism, or an increase in measured vs. calculated metabolic rate. The cause of hypermetabolism and the effects on neuronal metabolism in ALS are currently unknown, but the efficacy of dietary interventions shows promise for metabolism as an ALS therapeutic target. The goal of this study is to measure changes in metabolic pathways as a function of disease progression in spinal cords of the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of protein expression for metabolic pathways, antioxidants, chaperones, and proteases in lumbar spinal cord from male SOD1G93A mice at pre-onset, onset, and end-stages of the disease using targeted proteomic analysis. These results reveal that protein content of metabolic proteins including proteins involved in glycolysis, ?-oxidation, and mitochondrial metabolism is altered in SOD1G93A mouse spinal cord well before disease onset. The changes in mitochondrial metabolism proteins are associated with decreased maximal respiration and glycolytic flux in SOD1G93A dermal fibroblasts and increased hydrogen peroxide and lipid hydroperoxide production in mitochondria from sciatic nerve and gastrocnemius muscle fibers at end stage of disease. Consistent with redox dysregulation, expression of the glutathione antioxidant system is decreased, and peroxiredoxins and catalase expression are increased. In addition, stress response proteases and chaperones, including those involved in the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), are induced before disease onset. In summary, we report that metabolic and stress response changes occur in SOD1G93A lumbar spinal cord before motor symptom onset, and are primarily caused by SOD1G93A expression and do not vary greatly as a function of disease course.
Project description:Bioenergetic abnormalities and metabolic dysfunction occur in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and genetic mouse models. However, whether metabolic dysfunction occurs early in ALS pathophysiology linked to different ALS genes remains unclear. Here, we investigated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation, which is a key enzyme induced by energy depletion and metabolic stress, in neuronal cells and mouse models expressing mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) or TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) linked to ALS. AMPK phosphorylation was sharply increased in spinal cords of transgenic SOD1G93A mice at disease onset and accumulated in cytoplasmic granules in motor neurons, but not in presymptomatic mice. AMPK phosphorylation also occurred in peripheral tissues, liver and kidney, in SOD1G93A mice at disease onset, demonstrating that AMPK activation occurs late and is not restricted to motor neurons. Conversely, AMPK activity was drastically diminished in spinal cords and brains of presymptomatic and symptomatic transgenic TDP-43A315T mice and motor neuronal cells expressing different TDP-43 mutants. We show that mutant TDP-43 induction of the AMPK phosphatase, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), is associated with AMPK inactivation in these ALS models. Furthermore, PP2A inhibition by okadaic acid reversed AMPK inactivation by mutant TDP-43 in neuronal cells. Our results suggest that mutant SOD1 and TDP-43 exert contrasting effects on AMPK activation which may reflect key differences in energy metabolism and neurodegeneration in spinal cords of SOD1G93A and TDP-43A315T mice. While AMPK activation in motor neurons correlates with progression in mutant SOD1-mediated disease, AMPK inactivation mediated by PP2A is associated with mutant TDP-43-linked ALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neuromuscular disorder characterized by degeneration of motor neurons and atrophy of skeletal muscle. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene are linked to 20% cases of inherited ALS. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenic process, but how it contributes to muscle degeneration of ALS is not known. Here we identify a specific deficit in the cellular physiology of skeletal muscle derived from an ALS mouse model (G93A) with transgenic overexpression of the human SOD1(G93A) mutant. The G93A skeletal muscle fibers display localized loss of mitochondrial inner membrane potential in fiber segments near the neuromuscular junction. These defects occur in young G93A mice prior to disease onset. Fiber segments with depolarized mitochondria show greater osmotic stress-induced Ca(2+) release activity, which can include propagating Ca(2+) waves. These Ca(2+) waves are confined to regions of depolarized mitochondria and stop propagating shortly upon entering the regions of normal, polarized mitochondria. Uncoupling of mitochondrial membrane potential with FCCP or inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake by Ru360 lead to cell-wide propagation of such Ca(2+) release events. Our data reveal that mitochondria regulate Ca(2+) signaling in skeletal muscle, and loss of this capacity may contribute to the progression of muscle atrophy in ALS.
Project description:In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress form a vicious cycle that promotes neurodegeneration and muscle wasting. To quantify the disease-stage-dependent changes of mitochondrial function and their relationship to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), we generated double transgenic mice (G93A/cpYFP) that carry human ALS mutation SOD1G93A and mt-cpYFP transgenes, in which mt-cpYFP detects dynamic changes of ROS-related mitoflash events at individual mitochondria level. Compared with wild type mice, mitoflash activity in the SOD1G93A (G93A) mouse muscle showed an increased flashing frequency prior to the onset of ALS symptom (at the age of 2 months), whereas the onset of ALS symptoms (at the age of 4 months) is associated with drastic changes in the kinetics property of mitoflash signal with prolonged full duration at half maximum (FDHM). Elevated levels of cytosolic ROS in skeletal muscle derived from the SOD1G93A mice were confirmed with fluorescent probes, MitoSOX™ Red and ROS Brite™570. Immunoblotting analysis of subcellular mitochondrial fractionation of G93A muscle revealed an increased expression level of cyclophilin D (CypD), a regulatory component of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), at the age of 4 months but not at the age of 2 months. Transient overexpressing of SOD1G93A in skeletal muscle of wild type mice directly promoted mitochondrial ROS production with an enhanced mitoflash activity in the absence of motor neuron axonal withdrawal. Remarkably, the SOD1G93A-induced mitoflash activity was attenuated by the application of cyclosporine A (CsA), an inhibitor of CypD. Similar to the observation with the SOD1G93A transgenic mice, an increased expression level of CypD was also detected in skeletal muscle following transient overexpression of SOD1G93A. Overall, this study reveals a disease-stage-dependent change in mitochondrial function that is associated with CypD-dependent mPTP opening; and the ALS mutation SOD1G93A directly contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction in the absence of motor neuron axonal withdrawal.
Project description:The identity of muscle secreted factors critical for the development and maintenance of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) remains largely unknown. Here, we show that muscle fibers secrete and concentrate the fibroblast growth factor binding protein 1 (FGFBP1) at NMJs. Although FGFBP1 expression increases during development, its expression decreases before NMJ degeneration during aging and in SOD1G93A mice, a mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Based on these findings, we examined the impact of deleting FGFBP1 on NMJs. In the absence of FGFBP1, NMJs exhibit structural abnormalities in developing and middle age mice. Deletion of FGFBP1 from SOD1G93A mice also accelerates NMJ degeneration and death. Based on these findings, we sought to identify the mechanism responsible for decreased FGFBP1 in stressed skeletal muscles. We show that FGFBP1 expression is inhibited by increased accumulation of the transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) in skeletal muscles and at their NMJs. These findings suggest that targeting the FGFBP1 and TGF-?1 signaling axis holds promise for slowing age- and disease-related degeneration of NMJs.The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is critical for all voluntary movement. Its malformation during development and degeneration in adulthood impairs motor function. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that function to maintain the structural integrity of NMJs. We show that muscle fibers secrete and concentrate the fibroblast growth factor binding protein 1 (FGFBP1) at NMJs. However, FGFBP1 expression decreases in skeletal muscles during aging and before NMJ degeneration in SOD1G93A mice, a mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We show that transforming growth factor-?1 is responsible for the decreased levels of FGFBP1. Importantly, we demonstrate critical roles for FGFBP1 at NMJs in developing, aging and SOD1G93A mice.