UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B causes HDL-C abnormalities in patients and statin-resistant muscle wasting in dysferlin-deficient mice White, Zoe; Sun, Zeren; Sauge, Elodie; Cox, Dan; Donen, Graham; Pechkovsky, Dmitri; Straub, Volker; Francis, Gordon A.; Bernatchez, Pascal


Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (MD) type 2B (LGMD2B) and Duchenne MD (DMD) are caused by mutations to the Dysferlin and Dystrophin genes, respectively. We have recently demonstrated in typically mild dysferlin- and dystrophin-deficient mouse models that increased plasma cholesterol levels severely exacerbate muscle wasting, and that DMD patients display primary dyslipidemia characterized by elevated plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. Herein, we investigate lipoprotein abnormalities in LGMD2B and if statin therapy protects dysferlin-deficient mice (Dysf) from muscle damage. Herein, lipoproteins and liver enzymes from LGMD2B patients and dysferlin-null (Dysf) mice were analyzed. Simvastatin, which exhibits anti-muscle wasting effects in mouse models of DMD and corrects aberrant expression of key markers of lipid metabolism and endogenous cholesterol synthesis, was tested in Dysf mice. Muscle damage and fibrosis were assessed by immunohistochemistry and cholesterol signalling pathways via Western blot. LGMD2B patients show reduced serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels compared to healthy controls and exhibit a greater prevalence of abnormal total cholesterol (CHOL)/HDL-C ratios despite an absence of liver dysfunction. While Dysf mice presented with reduced CHOL and associated HDL-C and LDL-C-associated fractions, simvastatin treatment did not prevent muscle wasting in quadriceps and triceps muscle groups or correct aberrant low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) protein expression. LGMD2B patients present with reduced serum concentrations of HDL-C, a major metabolic comorbidity, and as a result, statin therapy is unlikely to prevent muscle wasting in this population. We propose that like DMD, LGMD2B should be considered as a new type of genetic dyslipidemia.

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