In vitro and in vivo studies were made on the tissue specificity of oxidation of the ketogenic amino acids, leucine, tyrosine, and lysine. In in vitro studies the abilities of slices of various tissues of rats to form 14CO2 from 14C-amino acids were examined. With liver, but not kidney slices, addition of alpha-ketoglutarate was required for the maximum activities with these amino acids. Among the various tissues tested, kidney had the highest activity for lysine oxidation, followed by liver; other tissues showed very low activity. Kidney also had the highest activity for leucine oxidation, followed by diaphragm; liver and adipose tissue had lower activities. Liver had the highest activity for tyrosine oxidation, but kidney also showed considerable activity; other tissues had negligible activity. In in vivo studies the blood flow through the liver or kidney was stopped by ligation of the blood vessels. Then labeled amino acids were injected and recovery of radioactivity in respiratory 14CO2 was measured. In contrast to results with slices, no difference was found in the respiratory 14CO2 when the renal blood vessels were or were not ligated. On the contrary ligation of the hepatic vessels suppressed the oxidations of lysine and tyrosine completely and that of leucine partially. Thus in vivo, lysine and tyrosine seem to be metabolized mainly in the liver, whereas leucine is metabolized mostly in extrahepatic tissues and partly in liver. Use of tissue slices seems to be of only limited value in elucidating the metabolisms of these amino acids. (+info)
(2/1910) Nerve terminal damage by beta-bungarotoxin: its clinical significance.
We report here original data on the biological basis of prolonged neuromuscular paralysis caused by the toxic phospholipase A2 beta-bungarotoxin. Electron microscopy and immunocytochemical labeling with anti-synaptophysin and anti-neurofilament have been used to show that the early onset of paralysis is associated with the depletion of synaptic vesicles from the motor nerve terminals of skeletal muscle and that this is followed by the destruction of the motor nerve terminal and the degeneration of the cytoskeleton of the intramuscular axons. The postjunctional architecture of the junctions were unaffected and the binding of fluorescein-isothiocyanate-conjugated alpha-bungarotoxin to acetylcholine receptor was not apparently affected by exposure to beta-bungarotoxin. The re-innervation of the muscle fiber was associated by extensive pre- and post-terminal sprouting at 3 to 5 days but was stable by 7 days. Extensive collateral innervation of adjacent muscle fibers was a significant feature of the re-innervated neuromuscular junctions. These findings suggest that the prolonged and severe paralysis seen in victims of envenoming bites by kraits (elapid snakes of the genus Bungarus) and other related snakes of the family Elapidae is caused by the depletion of synaptic vesicles from motor nerve terminals and the degeneration of the motor nerve terminal and intramuscular axons. (+info)
(3/1910) Plectin is a linker of intermediate filaments to Z-discs in skeletal muscle fibers.
Plectin is a versatile linker protein which is associated with various types of cytoskeletal components and/or filaments including intermediate filaments, and its deficiency causes the disruption of myofibrils, or muscular dystrophy. To better understand the functional role of plectin in skeletal muscle fibers, we have examined the topological and structural relationships of plectin to intermediate filaments and Z-discs in rat diaphragm muscles by confocal and immunoelectron microscopy. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that plectin was colocalized with desmin at the periphery of Z-discs. This plectin localization around Z-discs was constantly maintained irrespective of the contracted or extended state of the muscle fibers, suggesting either direct or indirect association of plectin with Z-discs. Immunogold labeling in skinned muscle fibers clearly demonstrated that plectin-labeled fine threads linked desmin intermediate filaments to Z-discs and connected intermediate filaments to each other. These results indicate that through plectin threads desmin intermediate filaments form lateral linkages among adjacent Z-discs, preventing individual myofibrils from disruptive contraction and ensuring effective force generation. (+info)
(4/1910) Subcellular adaptation of the human diaphragm in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Pulmonary hyperinflation impairs the function of the diaphragm in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, it has been recently demonstrated that the muscle can counterbalance this deleterious effect, remodelling its structure (i.e. changing the proportion of different types of fibres). The aim of this study was to investigate whether the functional impairment present in COPD patients can be associated with structural subcellular changes of the diaphragm. Twenty individuals (60+/-9 yrs, 11 COPD patients and 9 subjects with normal spirometry) undergoing thoracotomy were included. Nutritional status and respiratory function were evaluated prior to surgery. Then, small samples of the costal diaphragm were obtained and processed for electron microscopy analysis. COPD patients showed a mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of 60+/-9% predicted, a higher concentration of mitochondria (n(mit)) in their diaphragm than controls (0.62+/-0.16 versus 0.46+/-0.16 mitochondrial transections (mt) x microm(-2), p<0.05). On the other hand, subjects with air trapping (residual volume (RV)/total lung capacity (TLC) >37%) disclosed not only a higher n(mit) (0.63+/-0.17 versus 0.43+/-0.07 mt x microm(-2), p<0.05) but shorter sarcomeres (L(sar)) than subjects without this functional abnormality (2.08+/-0.16 to 2.27+/-0.15 microm, p<0.05). Glycogen stores were similar in COPD and controls. The severity of airways obstruction (i.e. FEV1) was associated with n(mit) (r=-0.555, p=0.01), while the amount of air trapping (i.e. RV/TLC) was found to correlate with both n(mit) (r=0.631, p=0.005) and L(sar) (r=-0.526, p<0.05). Finally, maximal inspiratory pressure (PI,max) inversely correlated with n(mit) (r=-0.547, p=0.01). In conclusion, impairment in lung function occurring in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with subcellular changes in their diaphragm, namely a shortening in the length of sarcomeres and an increase in the concentration of mitochondria. These changes form a part of muscle remodelling, probably contributing to a better functional muscle behaviour. (+info)
(5/1910) Long-term recovery of diaphragm strength in neuralgic amyotrophy.
Diaphragm paralysis is a recognized complication of neuralgic amyotrophy that causes severe dyspnoea. Although recovery of strength in the arm muscles, when affected, is common, there are little data on recovery of diaphragm function. This study, therefore, re-assessed diaphragm strength in cases of bilateral diaphragm paralysis due to neuralgic amyotrophy that had previously been diagnosed at the authors institutions. Fourteen patients were recalled between 2 and 11 yrs after the original diagnosis. Respiratory muscle and diaphragm strength were measured by volitional manoeuvres as maximal inspiratory pressure and sniff transdiaphragmatic pressure. Cervical magnetic phrenic nerve stimulation was used to give a nonvolitional measure of diaphragm strength: twitch transdiaphragmatic pressure. Only two patients remained severely breathless. Ten of the 14 patients had evidence of some recovery of diaphragm strength, in seven cases to within 50% of the lower limit of normal. The rate of recovery was variable: one patient had some recovery after 2 yrs, and the rest took 3 yrs or more. In conclusion, in most patients with diaphragm paralysis due to neuralgic amyotrophy, some recovery of the diaphragm strength occurs, but the rate of recovery may be slow. (+info)
(6/1910) Diaphragm electromyogram measured with unilateral magnetic stimulation.
The purpose of this study was to establish the phrenic nerve conduction time (PNCT) for magnetic stimulation and further assess the relatively new technique of anterior unilateral magnetic stimulation (UMS) of the phrenic nerves in evaluating the diaphragm electromyogram (EMG). An oesophageal electrode was used to record the diaphragm compound muscle action potential (CMAP) elicited by supramaximal percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation (ES) and UMS from eight normal subjects. The oesophageal electrode used for recording the CMAP was positioned at the level of the hiatus and 3 cm below. The diaphragm CMAP was also recorded from chest wall surface electrodes in five subjects. All of the phrenic nerves could be maximally stimulated with UMS. A clear plateau of the amplitude of the CMAP was achieved for the right and left phrenic nerves. The mean amplitudes of the CMAP recorded from the oesophageal electrode were, for the right side, 0.74+/-0.29 mV (mean+SD) for ES and 0.76+/-0.30 mV for UMS with maximal power output, and for the left side 0.88+/-0.33 mV for ES and 0.80+/-0.24 mV for UMS. PNCT measured by the oesophageal electrode with ES and UMS with maximal output were, for the right side, 7.0+/-0.8 ms and 6.9+/-0.8 ms, respectively, and for the left side 7.8+/-1.2 ms and 7.7+/-1.3 ms, respectively. However, the CMAP recorded from chest wall surface electrodes with UMS was unsuitable for the measurement of PNCT. The results suggest that unilateral magnetic stimulation of the phrenic nerves combined with an oesophageal electrode can be used to assess diaphragmatic electrical activity and measure the phrenic nerve conduction time. (+info)
(7/1910) Effects of dilated cardiomyopathy on the diaphragm in the Syrian hamster.
This study aimed to elucidate changes in respiratory muscles and their mechanism in cardiomyopathy. The contractile properties and histology of the diaphragm, as well as serum levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, were examined in 10 hamsters with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (CM) and 10 controls. At 28 weeks, body weight in CM was reduced compared with controls (114+/-10 versus 144+/-14 g, p<0.0001). The ratio of diaphragm to body weight was significantly higher in CM than in controls (0.228+/-0.015 versus 0.182+/-0.017, p<0.0001). In vitro, maximal diaphragmatic twitch (303+/-63 versus 455+/-119 g x cm(-2)) and tetanic tensions (1,555+/-369 versus 2,204+/-506 g x cm(-2)) were significantly lower in CM than in controls (p<0.005). The half-relaxation time was significantly shorter in CM (19+/-1 ms) than in controls (24+/-3 ms, p<0.0005). Fatiguability at 25 Hz was significantly less in CM (28%) than in controls (42%, p<0.0001). Diaphragm and gastrocnemius adenosine triphosphatase staining showed type I fibre atrophy in CM, associated with an increase in the number of type I fibres in the diaphragm. Histological examination of both muscles revealed an abnormal muscular pattern. Finally, serum levels of IGF-1 were 47% lower in the CM group than in controls (p<0.0001) and were clearly related to the changes in the contractile properties and histology of the diaphragm. In conclusion, cardiomyopathy in hamsters: 1) depressed the force-generating capacity and shortened the relaxation of the hamster diaphragm; 2) induced type I fibre atrophy in combination with a myopathic pattern; and 3) was associated with a significant reduction in serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-1, related to the diaphragmatic changes. Whether these changes are primary myopathic or secondary to heart failure remains to be elucidated. (+info)
(8/1910) An overview of phrenic nerve and diaphragm muscle development in the perinatal rat.
In this overview, we outline what is known regarding the key developmental stages of phrenic nerve and diaphragm formation in perinatal rats. These developmental events include the following. Cervical axons emerge from the spinal cord during embryonic (E) day 11. At approximately E12.5, phrenic and brachial axons from the cervical segments merge at the brachial plexi. Subsequently, the two populations diverge as phrenic axons continue to grow ventrally toward the diaphragmatic primordium and brachial axons turn laterally to grow into the limb bud. A few pioneer axons extend ahead of the majority of the phrenic axonal population and migrate along a well-defined track toward the primordial diaphragm, which they reach by E13.5. The primordial diaphragmatic muscle arises from the pleuroperitoneal fold, a triangular protrusion of the body wall composed of the fusion of the primordial pleuroperitoneal and pleuropericardial tissues. The phrenic nerve initiates branching within the diaphragm at approximately E14, when myoblasts in the region of contact with the phrenic nerve begin to fuse and form distinct primary myotubes. As the nerve migrates through the various sectors of the diaphragm, myoblasts along the nerve's path begin to fuse and form additional myotubes. The phrenic nerve intramuscular branching and concomitant diaphragmatic myotube formation continue to progress up until E17, at which time the mature pattern of innervation and muscle architecture are approximated. E17 is also the time of the commencement of inspiratory drive transmission to phrenic motoneurons (PMNs) and the arrival of phrenic afferents to the motoneuron pool. During the period spanning from E17 to birth (gestation period of approximately 21 days), there is dramatic change in PMN morphology as the dendritic branching is rearranged into the rostrocaudal bundling characteristic of mature PMNs. This period is also a time of significant changes in PMN passive membrane properties, action-potential characteristics, and firing properties. (+info)