, Volume 183, Issue 1-2, pp 87-96

Impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle of the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse

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The mdx mouse, an animal model of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was used for the investigation of changes in mitochondrial function associated with dystrophin deficiency. Enzymatic analysis of skeletal muscle showed an approximately 50% decrease in the activity of all respiratory chain-linked enzymes in musculus quadriceps of adult mdx mice as compared with controls, while in cardiac muscle no difference was observed. The activities of cytosolic and mitochondrial matrix enzymes were not significantly different from the control values in both cardiac and skeletal muscles. In saponin-permeabilized skeletal muscle fibers of mdx mice the maximal rates of mitochondrial respiration were about two times lower than those of controls. These changes were also demonstrated on the level of isolated mitochondria. Mdx muscle mitochondria had only 60% of maximal respiration activities of control mice skeletal muscle mitochondria and contained only about 60% of hemoproteins of mitochondrial inner membrane. Similar findings were observed in a skeletal muscle biopsy of a Duchenne muscular dystrophy patient. These data strongly suggest that a specific decrease in the amount of all mitochondrial inner membrane enzymes, most probably as result of Ca2+ overload of muscle fibers, is the reason for the bioenergetic deficits in dystrophin-deficient skeletal muscle.