Activation of osmolyte pathways in inflammatory myopathy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy points to osmoregulation as a contributing pathogenic mechanism
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Laboratory investigation. - Baltimore, Md
, p. 872-884
University of Antwerp
Alongside well-known nuclear factor kappa B (NF kappa B) and its associated cytokine networks, nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5), the master regulator of cellular osmoprotective programs, comes forward as an inflammatory regulator. To gain insight into its yet unexplored role in muscle disease, we studied the expression of NFAT5 target proteins involved in osmolyte accumulation: aldose reductase (AR), taurine transporter (TauT), and sodium myo-inositol co-transporter (SMIT). We analyzed idiopathic inflammatory myopathy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy muscle biopsies and myotubes in culture, using immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and western blotting. We report that the level of constitutive AR was upregulated in patients, most strongly so in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. TauT and SMIT expression levels were induced in patients' muscle fibers, mostly representing regenerating and atrophic fibers. In dermatomyositis, strong staining for AR, TauT, and SMIT in atrophic perifascicular fibers was accompanied by staining for other molecular NFAT5 targets, including chaperones, chemokines, and inducible nitric oxide synthase. In these fibers, NFAT5 and NF kappa B p65 staining coincided, linking both transcription factors with this important pathogenic hallmark. In sporadic inclusion body myositis, SMIT localized to inclusions inside muscle fibers. In addition, SMIT was expressed by a substantial subset of muscle-infiltrating macrophages and T cells in patient biopsies. Our results indicate that osmolyte pathways may contribute to normal muscle functioning, and that activation of AR, TauT, and SMIT in muscle inflammation possibly contributes to the tissue's failing program of damage control.