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SERCA1 overexpression minimizes skeletal muscle damage in dystrophic mouse models.

American journal of physiology. Cell physiology (2015-02-06)
Davi A G Mázala, Stephen J P Pratt, Dapeng Chen, Jeffery D Molkentin, Richard M Lovering, Eva R Chin
ABSTRACT

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by progressive muscle wasting secondary to repeated muscle damage and inadequate repair. Elevations in intracellular free Ca²⁺ have been implicated in disease progression, and sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺-ATPase 1 (SERCA1) overexpression has been shown to ameliorate the dystrophic phenotype in mdx mice. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of SERCA1 overexpression in the more severe mdx/Utr(-/-) mouse model of DMD. Mice overexpressing SERCA1 were crossed with mdx/Utr ± mice to generate mdx/Utr(-/-)/+SERCA1 mice and compared with wild-type (WT), WT/+SERCA1, mdx/+SERCA1, and genotype controls. Mice were assessed at ∼12 wk of age for changes in Ca²⁺ handling, muscle mass, quadriceps torque, markers of muscle damage, and response to repeated eccentric contractions. SERCA1-overexpressing mice had a two- to threefold increase in maximal sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca²⁺-ATPase activity compared with WT which was associated with normalization in body mass for both mdx/+SERCA1 and mdx/Utr(-/-)/+SERCA1. Torque deficit in the quadriceps after eccentric injury was 2.7-fold greater in mdx/Utr(-/-) vs. WT mice, but only 1.5-fold greater in mdx/Utr(-/-)/+SERCA1 vs. WT mice, an attenuation of 44%. Markers of muscle damage (% centrally nucleated fibers, necrotic area, and serum creatine kinase levels) were higher in both mdx and mdx/Utr(-/-) vs. WT, and all were attenuated by overexpression of SERCA1. These data indicate that SERCA1 overexpression ameliorates functional impairments and cellular markers of damage in a more severe mouse model of DMD. These findings support targeting intracellular Ca²⁺ control as a therapeutic approach for DMD.

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