The expression of myogenic regulatory factors and muscle growth factors in the masticatory muscles of dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice

Alexander Spassov, Tomasz Gredes, Tomasz Gedrange, Silke Lucke, Dragan Pavlovic, Christiane Kunert-Keil
Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2011, 16 (2): 214-25
The activities of myogenic regulatory factors (MRF) and muscle growth factors increase in muscle that is undergoing regeneration, and may correspond to some specific changes. Little is known about the role of MRFs in masticatory muscles in mdx mice (the model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and particularly about their mRNA expression during the process of muscle regeneration. Using Taqman RT-PCR, we examined the mRNA expression of the MRFs myogenin and MyoD1 (myogenic differentiation 1), and of the muscle growth factors myostatin, IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor) and MGF (mechano-growth factor) in the masseter, temporal and tongue masticatory muscles of mdx mice (n = 6 to 10 per group). The myogenin mRNA expression in the mdx masseter and temporal muscle was found to have increased (P < 0.05), whereas the myostatin mRNA expressions in the mdx masseter (P < 0.005) and tongue (P < 0.05) were found to have diminished compared to those for the controls. The IGF and MGF mRNA amounts in the mdx mice remained unchanged. Inside the mdx animal group, gender-related differences in the mRNA expressions were also found. A higher mRNA expression of myogenin and MyoD1 in the mdx massterer and temporal muscles was found in females in comparison to males, and the level of myostatin was higher in the masseter and tongue muscle (P < 0.001 for all comparisons). Similar gender-related differences were also found within the control groups. This study reveals the intermuscular differences in the mRNA expression pattern of myogenin and myostatin in mdx mice. The existence of these differences implies that dystrophinopathy affects the skeletal muscles differentially. The finding of gender-related differences in the mRNA expression of the examined factors may indicate the importance of hormonal influences on muscle regeneration.

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