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J Biol Chem. 2014 Jan 3;289(1):485-509. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.493270. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Mitochondrial alterations and oxidative stress in an acute transient mouse model of muscle degeneration: implications for muscular dystrophy and related muscle pathologies.

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From the Departments of Neurochemistry.


Muscular dystrophies (MDs) and inflammatory myopathies (IMs) are debilitating skeletal muscle disorders characterized by common pathological events including myodegeneration and inflammation. However, an experimental model representing both muscle pathologies and displaying most of the distinctive markers has not been characterized. We investigated the cardiotoxin (CTX)-mediated transient acute mouse model of muscle degeneration and compared the cardinal features with human MDs and IMs. The CTX model displayed degeneration, apoptosis, inflammation, loss of sarcolemmal complexes, sarcolemmal disruption, and ultrastructural changes characteristic of human MDs and IMs. Cell death caused by CTX involved calcium influx and mitochondrial damage both in murine C2C12 muscle cells and in mice. Mitochondrial proteomic analysis at the initial phase of degeneration in the model detected lowered expression of 80 mitochondrial proteins including subunits of respiratory complexes, ATP machinery, fatty acid metabolism, and Krebs cycle, which further decreased in expression during the peak degenerative phase. The mass spectrometry (MS) data were supported by enzyme assays, Western blot, and histochemistry. The CTX model also displayed markers of oxidative stress and a lowered glutathione reduced/oxidized ratio (GSH/GSSG) similar to MDs, human myopathies, and neurogenic atrophies. MS analysis identified 6 unique oxidized proteins from Duchenne muscular dystrophy samples (n = 6) (versus controls; n = 6), including two mitochondrial proteins. Interestingly, these mitochondrial proteins were down-regulated in the CTX model thereby linking oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. We conclude that mitochondrial alterations and oxidative damage significantly contribute to CTX-mediated muscle pathology with implications for human muscle diseases.


Cardiotoxin; Mitochondria; Muscle Pathology; Muscular Dystrophy; Oxidative Stress; Proteomics; Skeletal Muscle

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