Increased constitutive nitric oxide production by whole body periodic acceleration ameliorates alterations in cardiomyocytes associated with utrophin/dystrophin deficiency

Jose R Lopez, Juan Kolster, Rui Zhang, Jose Adams
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 2017, 108: 149-157
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) cardiomyopathy is a progressive lethal disease caused by the lack of the dystrophin protein in the heart. The most widely used animal model of DMD is the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse; however, these mice exhibit a mild dystrophic phenotype with heart failure only late in life. In contrast, mice deficient for both dystrophin and utrophin (mdx/utrn-/- , or dKO) can be used to model severe DMD cardiomyopathy where pathophysiological indicators of heart failure are detectable by 8-10weeks of age. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule involved in vital functions of regulating rhythm, contractility, and microcirculation of the heart, and constitutive NO production affects the function of proteins involved in excitation-contraction coupling. In this study, we explored the efficacy of enhancing NO production as a therapeutic strategy for treating DMD cardiomyopathy using the dKO mouse model of DMD. Specifically, NO production was induced via whole body periodic acceleration (pGz), a novel non-pharmacologic intervention which enhances NO synthase (NOS) activity through sinusoidal motion of the body in a headward-footward direction, introducing pulsatile shear stress to the vascular endothelium and cardiomyocyte plasma membrane. Male dKO mice were randomized at 8weeks of age to receive daily pGz (480cpm, Gz±3.0m/s2 , 1h/d) for 4weeks or no treatment, and a separate age-matched group of WT animals (pGz-treated and untreated) served as non-diseased controls. At the conclusion of the protocol, cardiomyocytes from untreated dKO animals had, respectively, 4.3-fold and 3.5-fold higher diastolic resting concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+ ]d ) and Na+ ([Na+ ]d ) compared to WT, while pGz treatment significantly reduced these levels. For dKO cardiomyocytes, pGz treatment also improved the depressed contractile function, decreased oxidative stress, blunted the elevation in calpain activity, and mitigated the abnormal increase in [Ca2+ ]d upon mechanical stress. These improvements culminated in a significant reduction in circulating cardiac troponin T (cTnT) and an extension of the median lifespan of dKO mice from 16 to 31weeks. Treatment with L-NAME (NOS inhibitor) significantly decreased overall lifespan and abolished the cardioprotective properties elicited by pGz. Our results provide evidence that enhancement of NO synthesis by pGz can ameliorate cellular dysfunction in dKO cardiomyocytes and may represent a novel therapeutic intervention in DMD cardiomyopathy patients.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"