Non-invasive tracking of disease progression in young dystrophic muscles using multi-parametric MRI at 14T.
ABSTRACT: In this study, multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted to monitor skeletal muscle changes in dystrophic (mdx4cv) and age-matched control (C57BL/6J) mice starting at 3 weeks of age. The objective of this study was to evaluate and characterize changes in muscle tissue characteristics of hind limbs in young, dystrophic mice using MRI. Mdx4cv (n = 25) and age-matched C57BL/6J (n = 5) were imaged at 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 weeks of age. Multiple MR measurements were taken from the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles. There were significant differences between dystrophic and control groups for all three muscle types when comparing transverse relaxation times (T2) in lower hind limb muscles. Additionally, fractional anisotropy, radial diffusivity, and eigenvalue analysis of diffusion tensor imaging also demonstrated significant differences between groups. Longitudinal relaxation times (T1) displayed no significant differences between groups. The earliest time points in the magnetization transfer ratio measurements displayed a significant difference. Histological analysis revealed significant differences in the tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius muscles between groups with the mdx mice displaying greater variability in muscle fiber size in later time points. The multi-parametric MRI approach offers a promising alternative for future development of a noninvasive avenue for tracking both disease progression and treatment response.
Project description:Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscle wasting disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. To examine the influence of muscle structure on the pathogenesis of DMD we generated mdx4cv:desmin double knockout (dko) mice. The dko male mice died of apparent cardiorespiratory failure at a median age of 76 days compared to 609 days for the desmin-/- mice. An ? 2.5 fold increase in utrophin expression in the dko skeletal muscles prevented necrosis in ? 91% of 1a, 2a and 2d/x fiber-types. In contrast, utrophin expression was reduced in the extrasynaptic sarcolemma of the dko fast 2b fibers leading to increased membrane fragility and dystrophic pathology. Despite lacking extrasynaptic utrophin, the dko fast 2b fibers were less dystrophic than the mdx4cv fast 2b fibers suggesting utrophin-independent mechanisms were also contributing to the reduced dystrophic pathology. We found no overt change in the regenerative capacity of muscle stem cells when comparing the wild-type, desmin-/-, mdx4cv and dko gastrocnemius muscles injured with notexin. Utrophin could form costameric striations with ?-sarcomeric actin in the dko to maintain the integrity of the membrane, but the lack of restoration of the NODS (nNOS, ?-dystrobrevin 1 and 2, ?1-syntrophin) complex and desmin coincided with profound changes to the sarcomere alignment in the diaphragm, deposition of collagen between the myofibers, and impaired diaphragm function. We conclude that the dko mice may provide new insights into the structural mechanisms that influence endogenous utrophin expression that are pertinent for developing a therapy for DMD.
Project description:The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a non-invasive tool for the monitoring of gene therapy for muscular dystrophy. The clinical investigations for this family of diseases often involve surgical biopsy which limits the amount of information that can be obtained due to the invasive nature of the procedure. Thus, other non-invasive tools may provide more opportunities for disease assessment and treatment responses. In order to explore this, dystrophic mdx4cv mice were systemically treated with a recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector containing a codon-optimized micro-dystrophin gene. Multi-parametric MRI of T2, magnetization transfer, and diffusion effects alongside 3-D volume measurements were then utilized to monitor disease/treatment progression. Mice were imaged at 10 weeks of age for pre-treatment, then again post-treatment at 8, 16, and 24 week time points. The efficacy of treatment was assessed by physiological assays for improvements in function and quantification of expression. Tissues from the hindlimbs were collected for histological analysis after the final time point for comparison with MRI results. We found that introduction of the micro-dystrophin gene restored some aspects of normal muscle histology and pathology such as decreased necrosis and resistance to contraction-induced injury. T2 relaxation values showed percentage decreases across all muscle types measured (tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus) when treated groups were compared to untreated groups. Additionally, the differences between groups were statistically significant for the tibialis anterior as well. The diffusion measurements showed a wider range of percentage changes and less statistical significance while the magnetization transfer effect measurements showed minimal change. MR images displayed hyper-intense regions of muscle that correlated with muscle pathology in histological sections. T2 relaxation, alongside diffusion and magnetization transfer effects provides useful data towards the goal of non-invasively monitoring the treatment of muscular dystrophy.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides non-invasive, repetitive measures in the same individual, allowing the study of a physio-pathological event over time. In this study, we tested the performance of 7 Tesla multi-parametric MRI to monitor the dynamic changes of mouse skeletal muscle injury and regeneration upon acute ischemia induced by femoral artery dissection. T2-mapping (T2 relaxation time), diffusion-tensor imaging (Fractional Anisotropy) and perfusion by Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI (K-trans) were measured and imaging results were correlated with histological morphometric analysis in both Gastrocnemius and Tibialis anterior muscles. We found that tissue damage positively correlated with T2-relaxation time, while myofiber regeneration and capillary density positively correlated with Fractional Anisotropy. Interestingly, K-trans positively correlated with capillary density. Accordingly, repeated MRI measurements between day 1 and day 28 after surgery in ischemic muscles showed that: 1) T2-relaxation time rapidly increased upon ischemia and then gradually declined, returning almost to basal level in the last phases of the regeneration process; 2) Fractional Anisotropy dropped upon ischemic damage induction and then recovered along with muscle regeneration and neoangiogenesis; 3) K-trans reached a minimum upon ischemia, then progressively recovered. Overall, Gastrocnemius and Tibialis anterior muscles displayed similar patterns of MRI parameters dynamic, with more marked responses and less variability in Tibialis anterior. We conclude that MRI provides quantitative information about both tissue damage after ischemia and the subsequent vascular and muscle regeneration, accounting for the differences between subjects and, within the same individual, between different muscles.
Project description:Gastrocnemius-soleus equinus (GSE) is a foot-ankle complaint in which the extensibility of the gastrocnemius (G) and soleus muscles (triceps surae) and ankle are limited to a dorsiflexion beyond a neutral ankle position. The asymmetric forces of leg muscles and the associated asymmetric loading forces might promote major activation of the triceps surae, tibialis anterior, transverses abdominal and multifidus muscles. Here, we made infrared recordings of 21 sportsmen (elite professional soccer players) before activity and after 30 min of running. These recordings were used to assess temperature modifications on the gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, and Achilles tendon in GSE and non-GSE participants. We identified significant temperature modifications among GSE and non-GSE participants for the tibialis anterior muscle (mean, minimum, and maximum temperature values). The cutaneous temperature increased as a direct consequence of muscle activity in GSE participants. IR imaging capture was reliable to muscle pattern activation for lower limb. Based on our findings, we propose that non-invasive IR evaluation is suitable for clinical evaluation of the status of these muscles.
Project description:Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common inherited neuromuscular disease and is characterized by absence of the cytoskeletal protein dystrophin, muscle wasting, and fibrosis. We previously demonstrated that systemic infusion or oral administration of angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)), a peptide with opposing effects to angiotensin II, normalized skeletal muscle architecture, decreased local fibrosis, and improved muscle function in mdx mice, a dystrophic model for DMD. In this study, we investigated the presence, activity, and localization of ACE2, the enzyme responsible for Ang-(1-7) production, in wild type (wt) and mdx skeletal muscle and in a model of induced chronic damage in wt mice. All dystrophic muscles studied showed higher ACE2 activity than wt muscle. Immunolocalization studies indicated that ACE2 was localized mainly at the sarcolemma and, to a lesser extent, associated with interstitial cells. Similar results were observed in the model of chronic damage in the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle. Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of ACE2 overexpression in mdx TA muscle using an adenovirus containing human ACE2 sequence and showed that expression of ACE2 reduced the fibrosis associated with TA dystrophic muscles. Moreover, we observed fewer inflammatory cells infiltrating the mdx muscle. Finally, mdx gastrocnemius muscles from mice infused with Ang-(1-7), which decreases fibrosis, contain less ACE2 associated with the muscle. This is the first evidence supporting ACE2 as an important therapeutic target to improve the dystrophic skeletal muscle phenotype.
Project description:microRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that can mediate changes in gene expression and are required for the formation of skeletal muscle (myogenesis). With the goal of identifying novel miRNA biomarkers of muscle disease, we profiled miRNA expression using miRNA-seq in the gastrocnemius muscles of dystrophic mdx4cv mice. After identifying a down-regulation of the miR-30 family (miR-30a-5p, -30b, -30c, -30d and -30e) when compared to C57Bl/6 (WT) mice, we found that overexpression of miR-30 family miRNAs promotes differentiation, while inhibition restricts differentiation of myoblasts in vitro. Additionally, miR-30 family miRNAs are coordinately down-regulated during in vivo models of muscle injury (barium chloride injection) and muscle disuse atrophy (hindlimb suspension). Using bioinformatics tools and in vitro studies, we identified and validated Smarcd2, Snai2 and Tnrc6a as miR-30 family targets. Interestingly, we show that by targeting Tnrc6a, miR-30 family miRNAs negatively regulate the miRNA pathway and modulate both the activity of muscle-specific miR-206 and the levels of protein synthesis. These findings indicate that the miR-30 family may be an interesting biomarker of perturbed muscle homeostasis and muscle disease.
Project description:The I?B kinase (IKK?, ? and the regulatory subunit IKK?) complex regulates nuclear factor of ?B (NF-?B) transcriptional activity, which is upregulated in many chronic inflammatory diseases. NF-?B signaling promotes inflammation and limits muscle regeneration in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), resulting in fibrotic and fatty tissue replacement of muscle that exacerbates the wasting process in dystrophic muscles. Here, we examined whether dominant-negative forms of IKK? (IKK?-dn) and IKK? (IKK?-dn) delivered by adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors to the gastrocnemius (GAS) and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of 1, 2 and 11-month-old mdx mice, a murine DMD model, block NF-?B activation and increase muscle regeneration. At 1 month post-treatment, the levels of nuclear NF-?B in locally treated muscle were decreased by gene transfer with either AAV-CMV-IKK?-dn or AAV-CMV-IKK?-dn, but not by IKK wild-type controls (IKK? and ?) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Although treatment with AAV-IKK?-dn or AAV-IKK?-dn vectors had no significant effect on muscle regeneration in young mdx mice treated at 1 and 2 months of age and collected 1 month later, treatment of old (11 months) mdx with AAV-CMV-IKK?-dn or AAV-CMV-IKK?-dn significantly increased levels of muscle regeneration. In addition, there was a significant decrease in myofiber necrosis in the AAV-IKK?-dn- and AAV-IKK?-dn-treated mdx muscle in both young and old mice. These results demonstrate that inhibition of IKK? or IKK? in dystrophic muscle reduces the adverse effects of NF-?B signaling, resulting in a therapeutic effect. Moreover, these results clearly demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of inhibiting NF-?B activation by AAV gene transfer in dystrophic muscle to promote regeneration, particularly in older mdx mice, and block necrosis.
Project description:AIMS:To investigate differential muscle atrophy during bed-rest, the impact of a high-intensity concentric-eccentric (flywheel) resistance exercise countermeasure and muscle recovery after bed-rest. METHODS:Twenty-five healthy male subjects underwent 90 dayshead-down tilt bed-rest. Volume of individual lower-limb muscles was measured via MRI before, twice during and four times up to 1 year after bed-rest. Subjects were either inactive (n=16) or performed flywheel exercise every third day of bed-rest (n=9). Functional performance was assessed via countermovement jump. RESULTS:On 'intent-to-treat' analysis, flywheel prevented atrophy in the vasti (p<0.001) and reduced atrophy in the hip adductor/extensor adductor magnus (p=0.001) and ankle dorsiflexors/toe flexors (soleus (p<0.001), gastrocnemius medialis (p<0.001), gastrocnemius lateralis (p=0.02), and tibialis posterior with flexor digitorum longus (p=0.04)). Flywheel exercise was not effective for the hamstrings, gracilis, sartorius, peroneals and anterior tibial muscles. Muscle atrophy in vasti, soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, gastrocnemius lateralis and adductor magnus correlated with losses in countermovement jump performance. Muscle volume recovered within 90 days after bed-rest, however long-term after bed-rest, the inactive subjects only showed significantly increased muscle volume versus prebed-rest in a number of muscles including soleus (+4.3%), gastrocnemius medialis (+3.9%) and semimembranosus (+4.3%). This was not associated with greater countermovement jump performance. CONCLUSION:The exercise countermeasure was effective in preventing or reducing atrophy in the vasti, adductor magnus and ankle dorsiflexors/toe flexors but not the hamstrings, medial thigh muscles or peroneals and dorsiflexor muscles. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT00311571; results.
Project description:This study identifies metabolic and protein phenotypic alterations in gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior and diaphragm muscles of Col6a1(-/-) mice, a model of human collagen VI myopathies. All three muscles of Col6a1(-/-) mice show some common changes in proteins involved in metabolism, resulting in decreased glycolysis and in changes of the TCA cycle fluxes. These changes lead to a different fate of ?-ketoglutarate, with production of anabolic substrates in gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior, and with lipotoxicity in diaphragm. The metabolic changes are associated with changes of proteins involved in mechanotransduction at the myotendineous junction/costameric/sarcomeric level (TN-C, FAK, ROCK1, troponin I fast) and in energy metabolism (aldolase, enolase 3, triose phosphate isomerase, creatine kinase, adenylate kinase 1, parvalbumin, IDH1 and FASN). Together, these change may explain Ca(2+) deregulation, impaired force development, increased muscle-relaxation-time and fiber damage found in the mouse model as well as in patients. The severity of these changes differs in the three muscles (gastrocnemius<tibialis anterior<diaphragm) and correlates to the mass-to-tendon (myotendineous junction) ratio and to muscle morphology.
Project description:The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of cadence on joint specific power and cycling kinematics in the ankle joint in addition to muscle oxygenation and muscle VO2 in the gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior. Thirteen cyclists cycled at a cadence of 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 and 110 rpm at a constant external work rate of 160.1 ± 21.3 W. Increasing cadence led to a decrease in ankle power in the dorsal flexion phase and to an increase in ankle joint angular velocity above 80 rpm. In addition, increasing cadence increased deoxygenation and desaturation for both the gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles. Muscle VO2 increased following increased cadence but only in the tibialis anterior and only at cadences above 80 rpm, thus coinciding with the increase in ankle joint angular velocity. There was no effect of cadence in the gastrocnemius. This study demonstrates that high cadences lead to increased mVO2 in the TA muscles that cannot be explained by power in the dorsal flexion phase.