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Neuromuscul Disord. 2006 May;16(5):337-46. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Differential calcineurin signalling activity and regeneration efficacy in diaphragm and limb muscles of dystrophic mdx mice.

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Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne, Grattan Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.


Calcineurin activity is essential for successful skeletal muscle regeneration in young mdx mice and in wild type mice following myotoxic injury and cryodamage. In mature myofibres of adult mdx mice, calcineurin stimulation can ameliorate the dystrophic pathology. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the more severe dystrophic pathology of the diaphragm compared with hindlimb muscles of mdx mice could be attributed to aberrant calcineurin signalling and that due to ongoing regeneration calcineurin activity would be greater in muscles of adult mdx than wild type mice. Differences in markers of regeneration between tibialis anterior and diaphragm muscles were also characterised, to determine whether there was an association between regeneration efficacy and calcineurin activity in dystrophic muscles. In diaphragm muscles of adult mdx mice, the proportion of centrally nucleated fibres and developmental myosin heavy chain protein expression was lower and myogenin protein expression was higher than in tibialis anterior muscles. Calcineurin and activated NFATc1 protein content and calcineurin phosphatase activity were higher in muscles from mdx than wild type mice and calcineurin activation was greater in diaphragm than tibialis anterior muscles of mdx mice. Thus, despite greater calcineurin activity in diaphragm compared to hindlimb muscles, regeneration events downstream of myoblast differentiation and mediated by the injured myofibre were severely compromised.

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