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Pflugers Arch. 2002 Aug;444(5):634-43. Epub 2002 Jul 10.

Sarcoplasmic reticulum function in slow- and fast-twitch skeletal muscles from mdx mice.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Physiologie Générale, UMR CNRS 6018, Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, Université de Nantes, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 92208, 44322 Nantes, Cedex 03, France.


The aim of the present study was to establish whether alterations in sarcoplasmic reticulum function are involved in the abnormal Ca(2+) homeostasis of skeletal muscle in mice with muscular dystrophy ( mdx). The properties of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and contractile proteins of fast- and slow-twitch muscles were therefore investigated in chemically skinned fibres isolated from the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles of normal (C57BL/10) and mdx mice at 4 and 11 weeks of development. Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) uptake, estimated by the Ca(2+) release following exposure to caffeine, was significantly slower in mdx mice, while the maximal Ca(2+) quantity did not differ in either type of skeletal muscle at either stage of development. In 4-week-old mice spontaneous sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) leakage was observed in EDL and soleus fibres and this was more pronounced in mdx mice. In addition, the maximal Ca(2+)-activated tension was smaller in mdx than in normal fibres, while the Ca(2+) sensitivity of the contractile apparatus was not significantly different. These results indicate that mdx hindlimb muscles are affected differently by the disease process and suggest that a reduced ability of the Ca(2+)-ATPase to load Ca(2+) and a leaky sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane may be involved in the altered intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis.

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