Acute microtubule changes linked to DMD pathology are insufficient to impair contractile function or enhance contraction-induced injury in healthy muscle

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Acute microtubule changes linked to DMD pathology are insufficient to impair contractile function or enhance contraction-induced injury in healthy muscle

Authors

Venegas, C.; Ursitti, J.; Kallenbach, J.; Pinto, K.; Harriot, A.; Coleman, A.; Shi, G.; Ward, C.

Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is marked by the genetic deficiency of the dystrophin protein in striated muscle whose consequence is a cascade of cellular changes that predispose the susceptibility to contraction injury central to DMD pathology. Recent evidence identified the proliferation of microtubules enriched in post-translationally modified tubulin as a consequence of dystrophins absence that increases the passive mechanics of the muscle fiber and the excess mechanotransduction elicited reactive oxygen species and calcium signals that promote contraction injury. Motivated by evidence that acutely normalizing the disease microtubule alterations reduced contraction injury in murine DMD muscle. (mdx), here we sought the direct impact of these microtubule alterations independent of dystrophins absence and the multitude of other changes consequent to dystrophic disease. To this end we used acute pharmacologic (epithiolone-D, EpoD; 4 hours) or genetic (vashohibin-2 and small vashohibin binding protein overexpression via AAV9; 2 weeks) strategies to effectively model the proliferation of detyrosination enriched microtubules in the mdx muscle. Quantifying in vivo nerve evoked plantarflexor function we find no alteration in peak torque nor contraction kinetics in WT mice modeling these DMD relevant MT alterations. Quantifying the susceptibility to eccentric contraction injury we show EpoD treatment proffered a small but significant protection from contraction injury while VASH/SVBP had no discernable impact. We conclude that the disease dependent MT alterations act in concert with additional cellular changes to predispose contraction injury in DMD.

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