1. No clear data is available about functional alterations in the calcium-dependent excitation-contraction (e-c) coupling mechanism of dystrophin-deficient muscle of mdx mice. 2. By means of the intracellular microelectrode point voltage clamp method, we measured the voltage threshold for contraction (mechanical threshold; MT) in intact extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle fibres of dystrophic mdx mouse of two different ages: 8-12 weeks, during the active regeneration of hind limb muscles, and 6-8 months, when regeneration is complete. 3. The EDL muscle fibres of 8-12-week-old wildtype animals had a more negative rheobase voltage (potential of equilibrium for contraction- and relaxation-related calcium movements) with respect to control mice of 6-8 months. However, at both ages, the EDL muscle fibres of mdx mice contracted at more negative potentials with respect to age-matched controls and had markedly slower time constants to reach the rheobase. 4. The in vitro application of 60 mM taurine, whose normally high intracellular muscle levels play a role in e-c coupling, was without effect on 6-8-month-old wildtype EDL muscle, while it significantly ameliorated the MT of mdx mouse. 5. HPLC determination of taurine content at 6-8 months showed a significant 140% rise of plasma taurine levels and a clear trend toward a decrease in amino acid levels in hind limb muscles, brain and heart, suggesting a tissue difficulty in retaining appropriate levels of the amino acid. 6. The data is consistent with a permanent alteration of e-c coupling in mdx EDL muscle fibres. The alteration could be related to the proposed increase in intracellular calcium, and can be ameliorated by taurine, suggesting a potential therapeutic role of the amino acid.

Alteration of excitation-contraction coupling mechanism in extensor digitorum longus muscle fibres of dystrophic mdx mouse and potential efficacy of taurine

DE LUCA, Annamaria;PIERNO, Sabata;LIANTONIO, ANTONELLA;CAMERINO C.;CONTE, Diana
2001

Abstract

1. No clear data is available about functional alterations in the calcium-dependent excitation-contraction (e-c) coupling mechanism of dystrophin-deficient muscle of mdx mice. 2. By means of the intracellular microelectrode point voltage clamp method, we measured the voltage threshold for contraction (mechanical threshold; MT) in intact extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle fibres of dystrophic mdx mouse of two different ages: 8-12 weeks, during the active regeneration of hind limb muscles, and 6-8 months, when regeneration is complete. 3. The EDL muscle fibres of 8-12-week-old wildtype animals had a more negative rheobase voltage (potential of equilibrium for contraction- and relaxation-related calcium movements) with respect to control mice of 6-8 months. However, at both ages, the EDL muscle fibres of mdx mice contracted at more negative potentials with respect to age-matched controls and had markedly slower time constants to reach the rheobase. 4. The in vitro application of 60 mM taurine, whose normally high intracellular muscle levels play a role in e-c coupling, was without effect on 6-8-month-old wildtype EDL muscle, while it significantly ameliorated the MT of mdx mouse. 5. HPLC determination of taurine content at 6-8 months showed a significant 140% rise of plasma taurine levels and a clear trend toward a decrease in amino acid levels in hind limb muscles, brain and heart, suggesting a tissue difficulty in retaining appropriate levels of the amino acid. 6. The data is consistent with a permanent alteration of e-c coupling in mdx EDL muscle fibres. The alteration could be related to the proposed increase in intracellular calcium, and can be ameliorated by taurine, suggesting a potential therapeutic role of the amino acid.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/136205
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