Autophagy in the heart is enhanced and independent of disease progression in mus musculus dystrophinopathy models
Quindry, J. C.
Hudson, M. B.
Background: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a muscle wasting disease caused by dystrophin gene mutations resulting in dysfunctional dystrophin protein. Autophagy, a proteolytic process, is impaired in dystrophic skeletal muscle though little is known about the effect of dystrophin deficiency on autophagy in cardiac muscle. We hypothesized that with disease progression autophagy would become increasingly dysfunctional based upon indirect autophagic markers.
Methods: Markers of autophagy were measured by western blot in 7-week-old and 17-month-old control (C57) and dystrophic (mdx) hearts.
Results: Counter to our hypothesis, markers of autophagy were similar between groups. Given these surprising results, two independent experiments were conducted using 14-month-old mdx mice or 10-month-old mdx/Utrn± mice, a more severe model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Data from these animals suggest increased autophagosome degradation.
Conclusion: Together these data suggest that autophagy is not impaired in the dystrophic myocardium as it is in dystrophic skeletal muscle and that disease progression and related injury is independent of autophagic dysfunction.
This article is published as Spaulding, H. R., C. Ballmann, J. C. Quindry, M. B. Hudson, and J. T. Selsby. "Autophagy in the heart is enhanced and independent of disease progression in mus musculus dystrophinopathy models." JRSM cardiovascular disease 8 (2019): 1-9. doi: 10.1177/2048004019879581.