Early mechanical dysfunction of the diaphragm in the muscular dystrophy with myositis (Ttnmdm) model.

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Blotting-Western, Diaphragm, Disease-Models-Animal, Mice-Mutant-Strains, Muscle-Contraction, Muscle-Proteins, Muscle-Strength, Muscular-Dystrophy-Animal, Mutation, Myofibrils, Myosin-Heavy-Chains, Myositis, Protein-Kinases, Time-Factors, Tomography-X-Ray-Computed

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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2008 Nov; 295(5):C1092-1102.


A complex rearrangement mutation in the mouse titin gene leads to an in-frame 83-amino acid deletion in the N2A region of titin. Autosomal recessive inheritance of the titin muscular dystrophy with myositis (Ttn(mdm/mdm)) mutation leads to a severe early-onset muscular dystrophy and premature death. We hypothesized that the N2A deletion would negatively impact the force-generating capacity and passive mechanical properties of the mdm diaphragm. We measured in vitro active isometric contractile and passive length-tension properties to assess muscle function at 2 and 6 wk of age. Micro-CT, myosin heavy chain Western blotting, and histology were used to assess diaphragm structure. Marked chest wall distortions began at 2 wk and progressively worsened until 5 wk. The percentage of myofibers with centrally located nuclei in mdm mice was significantly (P < 0.01) increased at 2 and 6 wk by 4% and 17%, respectively, compared with controls. At 6 wk, mdm diaphragm twitch stress was significantly (P < 0.01) reduced by 71%, time to peak twitch was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by 52%, and half-relaxation time was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced by 57%. Isometric tetanic stress was significantly (P < 0.05) depressed in 2- and 6-wk mdm diaphragms by as much as 64%. Length-tension relationships of the 2- and 6-wk mdm diaphragms showed significantly (P < 0.05) decreased extensibility and increased stiffness. Slow myosin heavy chain expression was aberrantly favored in the mdm diaphragm at 6 wk. Our data strongly support early contractile and passive mechanical aberrations of the respiratory pump in mdm mice.