Chronic losartan administration reduces mortality and preserves cardiac but not skeletal muscle function in dystrophic mice

Lawrence T. Bish, Mark Yarchoan, Meg M. Sleeper, Jeffrey A. Gazzara, Kevin J. Morine, Pedro Acosta, Elisabeth R. Barton, H. Lee Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a degenerative disorder affecting skeletal and cardiac muscle for which there is no effective therapy. Angiotension receptor blockade (ARB) has excellent therapeutic potential in DMD based on recent data demonstrating attenuation of skeletal muscle disease progression during 6-9 months of therapy in the mdx mouse model of DMD. Since cardiac-related death is major cause of mortality in DMD, it is important to evaluate the effect of any novel treatment on the heart. Therefore, we evaluated the long-term impact of ARB on both the skeletal muscle and cardiac phenotype of the mdx mouse. Mdx mice received either losartan (0.6 g/L) (n = 8) or standard drinking water (n = 9) for two years, after which echocardiography was performed to assess cardiac function. Skeletal muscle weight, morphology, and function were assessed. Fibrosis was evaluated in the diaphragm and heart by Trichrome stain and by determination of tissue hydroxyproline content. By the study endpoint, 88% of treated mice were alive compared to only 44% of untreated (p = 0.05). No difference in skeletal muscle morphology, function, or fibrosis was noted in losartan-treated animals. Cardiac function was significantly preserved with losartan treatment, with a trend towards reduction in cardiac fibrosis. We saw no impact on the skeletal muscle disease progression, suggesting that other pathways that trigger fibrosis dominate over angiotensin II in skeletal muscle long term, unlike the situation in the heart. Our study suggests that ARB may be an important prophylactic treatment for DMD-associated cardiomyopathy, but will not impact skeletal muscle disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20856
JournalPloS one
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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    Bish, L. T., Yarchoan, M., Sleeper, M. M., Gazzara, J. A., Morine, K. J., Acosta, P., Barton, E. R., & Sweeney, H. L. (2011). Chronic losartan administration reduces mortality and preserves cardiac but not skeletal muscle function in dystrophic mice. PloS one, 6(6), [e20856]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020856