Introduction: We recently generated a knock-in mouse model (PYGM p.R50X/p.R50X) of McArdle disease (myophosphorylase deficiency). One mechanistic approach to unveil the molecular alterations caused by myophosphorylase deficiency, which is arguably the paradigm of 'exercise intolerance', is to compare the skeletal-muscle tissue of McArdle, heterozygous, and healthy (wild type (wt)) mice.
Methods: We analyzed in quadriceps muscle of p.R50X/p.R50X (n=4), p.R50X/wt (n=6) and wt/wt mice (n=5) (all male, 8 wk-old) molecular markers of energy-sensing pathways, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and autophagy/proteasome systems, oxidative damage and sarcoplamic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ handling.
Results: We found a significant group effect for total AMPK (tAMPK) and ratio of phosphorylated (pAMPK)/tAMPK (P=0.012 and 0.033), with higher mean values in p.R50X/p.R50X mice vs. the other two groups. The absence of massive accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, autophagosomes or lysosomes in p.R50X/p.R50X mice suggested no major alterations in autophagy/proteasome systems. Citrate synthase activity was lower in p.R50X/p.R50X mice vs. the other two groups (P=0.036) but no statistical effect existed for respiratory chain complexes. We found higher levels of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified proteins in p.R50X/p.R50X and p.R50X/wt mice compared with the wt/wt group (P=0.011). Sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum ATPase 1 (SERCA1) levels detected at 110kDa tended to be higher in p.R50X/p.R50X and p.R50X/wt mice compared with wt/wt animals (P=0.076), but their enzyme activity was normal. We also found an accumulation of phosphorylated SERCA1 in p.R50X/p.R50X animals.
Conclusion: Myophosphorylase deficiency causes alterations in sensory energetic pathways together with some evidence of oxidative damage and alterations in Ca2+ handling but with no major alterations in OXPHOS capacity or autophagy/ubiquitination pathways, which suggests that the muscle tissue of patients is likely to adapt overall favorably to exercise training interventions.
(C) 2016 American College of Sports Medicine