The effect of denervation and dystrophy on the adaptation of sarcomere number to the functional length of the muscle in young and adult mice. (1/1324)

In young animals the elongation of the limb bones increases the functional lengths of the muscles. In adult animals the functional length of a muscle can be increased by immobilizing it in the lengthened position. In both cases the muscle adapts by adding on more sarcomeres in series. The role of the nerve supply in this adaptation has been investigated using denervated muscles and muscles from dystrophic animals where there is thought to be an abnormality of the nerve supply. Postnatal sarcomere addition in denervated muscles falls short of that of controls. Although this might mean that the nerve supply is necessary for normal addition of sarcomeres, it is just as likely that there is a change in gait resulting from denervation, which affects the sarcomere number. Sarcomere number in fully grown mice is not affected by denervation, nor is the ability of the muscle to adapt to immobilization in the lengthened position. This is true for fast-twitch as well as slow-twitch muscles. In dystrophic muscles postnatal sarcomere addition is normal, although the presence of a few short fibres in the muscle may mean that some muscle fibres cannot adapt to an increase in the functional length of the muscle accompanying bone growth. Adult dystrophic muscle is capable of adapting to immobilization in the lengthened position. However, although the total number of additional sarcomeres is the same as in normal immobilized muscle, they are added on at a slower rate. The experiments show that although denervated and dystrophic muscle fibres are in a state of atrophy they are still capable of adding on sarcomeres in series when the functional length of the muscle is increased. It would appear that the mechanism which enables the muscle to respond in this way to an increased functional length does not involve the nerve supply. This work was supported by a grant from the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases.  (+info)

An unusual family of benign "X" linked muscular dystrophy with cardiac involvement. (2/1324)

A family of benign X-linked muscular dystrophy is described. Two of the 3 affected members appear quite representative of Becker's dystrophy. A third shows no pseudohypertrophy, only gross atrophy, affecting proximal and distal muscles and also shows early onset contractures and electrocardiographic abnormalities and is in these ways much more representative of the variety described by Emery and Dreifuss (1966). Two of the cases have distinctly abnormal electrocardiograms with extensive and deep Q waves and abnormal R/S ratios and VI. Both these have shown progression of electrocardiographic abnormalities during a 2-year follow-up. The family is reported to document this very unusual occurrence.  (+info)

Reduced cytosolic acidification during exercise suggests defective glycolytic activity in skeletal muscle of patients with Becker muscular dystrophy. An in vivo 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. (3/1324)

Becker muscular dystrophy is an X-linked disorder due to mutations in the dystrophin gene, resulting in reduced size and/or content of dystrophin. The functional role of this subsarcolemma protein and the biochemical mechanisms leading to muscle necrosis in Becker muscular dystrophy are still unknown. In particular, the role of a bioenergetic deficit is still controversial. In this study, we used 31p magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31p-MRS) to investigate skeletal muscle mitochondrial and glycolytic ATP production in vivo in 14 Becker muscular dystrophy patients. Skeletal muscle glycogenolytic ATP production, measured during the first minute of exercise, was similar in patients and controls. On the other hand, during later phases of exercise, skeletal muscle in Becker muscular dystrophy patients was less acidic than in controls, the cytosolic pH at the end of exercise being significantly higher in Becker muscular dystrophy patients. The rate of proton efflux from muscle fibres of Becker muscular dystrophy patients was similar to that of controls, pointing to a deficit in glycolytic lactate production as a cause of higher end-exercise cytosolic pH in patients. The maximum rate of mitochondrial ATP production was similar in muscle of Becker muscular dystrophy patients and controls. The results of this in vivo 31P-MRS study are consistent with reduced glucose availability in dystrophin-deficient muscles.  (+info)

Distinct regions specify the nuclear membrane targeting of emerin, the responsible protein for Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. (4/1324)

Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder that has three characteristics: (a) early contracture of the elbows, Achilles tendons and postcervical muscles; (b) slowly progressive wasting and weakness of skeletal muscle; and (c) cardiomyopathy with severe conduction block. The responsible gene for the X-linked recessive form of this disease encodes an inner nuclear membrane protein named emerin. Although emerin is absent in tissues from patients with this disorder, it remains obscure why the loss of this widely expressed protein affects selectively skeletal muscle, heart and joints. As the first step to address this question, we examined the molecular regions of emerin that are essential for nuclear membrane targeting and stability of the protein. We found that the C-terminal hydrophobic region was necessary, but not sufficient, for nuclear membrane anchoring and stability of the protein. In the absence of this transmembrane domain, the upstream nucleoplasmic domain showed no firm association with the nuclear rim, but showed the tendency to accumulate at the nucleolus-like structures. Furthermore, proper targeting of emerin to the nuclear membrane required the latter half of the nucleoplasmic domain. These characteristics are distinct from those of lamina-associated polypeptide 2. Our findings indicate that emerin has distinct interactions with the inner nuclear membrane components that may be required for the stability and function of rigorously moving nuclei in tissues such as skeletal muscle, heart and joints.  (+info)

MR imaging findings in children with merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy. (5/1324)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Our purpose was to determine the brain MR imaging characteristics of merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy in children. METHODS: We reviewed the MR imaging findings of the brain in three children with known merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy to determine the presence of any cerebral or cerebellar abnormalities of development or abnormalities of the white matter. RESULTS: In all three patients, there was normal formation of the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and no evidence of neuronal migration anomalies. All three patients had abnormal white matter in the cerebrum, with sparing of the corpus callosum, internal capsule, cerebellum, and brain stem. CONCLUSION: MR imaging of the brain in children with merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy reveals a consistent pattern of white matter abnormality. We postulate that disruption of the blood-brain barrier associated with merosin deficiency leads to increased water content, resulting in abnormal white matter signal intensity.  (+info)

Impact of nasal ventilation on survival in hypercapnic Duchenne muscular dystrophy. (6/1324)

BACKGROUND: Respiratory failure is the commonest cause of death in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Life expectancy is less than one year once diurnal hypercapnia develops. This study examines the effects of nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) on survival in symptomatic Duchenne patients with established ventilatory failure. METHODS: Nocturnal NIPPV was applied in 23 consecutive patients with DMD of mean (SD) age 20.3 (3.4) years who presented with diurnal and nocturnal hypercapnia. RESULTS: One year and five year survival rates were 85% (95% CI 69 to 100) and 73% (95% CI 53 to 94), respectively. Early changes in arterial blood gas tensions following NIPPV occurred with mean (SD) PO2 increasing from 7.6 (2.1) kPa to 10.8 (1.3) kPa and mean (SD) PCO2 falling from 10.3 (4.5) kPa to 6.1 (1.0) kPa. Improvements in arterial blood gas tensions were maintained over five years. Health perception and social aspects of SF-36 health related quality of life index were reported as equivalent to other groups with nonprogressive disorders using NIPPV. CONCLUSIONS: Nasal ventilation is likely to increase survival in hypercapnic patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and should be considered as a treatment option when ventilatory failure develops.  (+info)

Dysferlin is a plasma membrane protein and is expressed early in human development. (7/1324)

Recently, a single gene, DYSF, has been identified which is mutated in patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD2B) and with Miyoshi myopathy (MM). This is of interest because these diseases have been considered as two distinct clinical conditions since different muscle groups are the initial targets. Dysferlin, the protein product of the gene, is a novel molecule without homology to any known mammalian protein. We have now raised a monoclonal antibody to dysferlin and report on the expression of this new protein: immunolabelling with the antibody (designated NCL-hamlet) demonstrated a polypeptide of approximately 230 kDa on western blots of skeletal muscle, with localization to the muscle fibre membrane by microscopy at both the light and electron microscopic level. A specific loss of dysferlin labelling was observed in patients with mutations in the LGMD2B/MM gene. Furthermore, patients with two different frameshifting mutations demonstrated very low levels of immunoreactive protein in a manner reminiscent of the dystrophin expressed in many Duchenne patients. Analysis of human fetal tissue showed that dysferlin was expressed at the earliest stages of development examined, at Carnegie stage 15 or 16 (embryonic age 5-6 weeks). Dysferlin is present, therefore, at a time when the limbs start to show regional differentiation. Lack of dysferlin at this critical time may contribute to the pattern of muscle involvement that develops later, with the onset of a muscular dystrophy primarily affecting proximal or distal muscles.  (+info)

Identical mutation in patients with limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B or Miyoshi myopathy suggests a role for modifier gene(s). (8/1324)

Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD2B) and Miyoshi myopathy (MM), a distal muscular dystrophy, are both caused by mutations in the recently cloned gene dysferlin, gene symbol DYSF. Two large pedigrees have been described which have both types of patient in the same families. Moreover, in both pedigrees LGMD2B and MM patients are homozygous for haplotypes of the critical region. This suggested that the same mutation in the same gene would lead to both LGMD2B or MM in these families and that additional factors were needed to explain the development of the different clinical phenotypes. In the present paper we show that in one of these families Pro791 of dysferlin is changed to an Arg residue. Both the LGMD2B and MM patients in this kindred are homozygous for this mutation, as are four additional patients from two previously unpublished families. Haplotype analyses suggest a common origin of the mutation in all the patients. On western blots of muscle, LGMD2B and MM patients show a similar abundance in dysferlin staining of 15 and 11%, respectively. Normal tissue sections show that dysferlin localizes to the sarcolemma while tissue sections from MM and LGMD patients show minimal staining which is indistinguishable between the two types. These findings emphasize the role for the dysferlin gene as being responsible for both LGMD2B and MM, but that the distinction between these two clinical phenotypes requires the identification of additional factor(s), such as modifier gene(s).  (+info)