Injection of a soluble fragment of neural agrin (NT-1654) considerably improves the muscle pathology caused by the disassembly of the neuromuscular junction

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 10;9(2):e88739. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088739. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Treatment of neuromuscular diseases is still an unsolved problem. Evidence over the last years strongly indicates the involvement of malformation and dysfunction of neuromuscular junctions in the development of such medical conditions. Stabilization of NMJs thus seems to be a promising approach to attenuate the disease progression of muscle wasting diseases. An important pathway for the formation and maintenance of NMJs is the agrin/Lrp4/MuSK pathway. Here we demonstrate that the agrin biologic NT-1654 is capable of activating the agrin/Lrp4/MuSK system in vivo, leading to an almost full reversal of the sarcopenia-like phenotype in neurotrypsin-overexpressing (SARCO) mice. We also show that injection of NT-1654 accelerates muscle re-innervation after nerve crush. This report demonstrates that a systemically administered agrin fragment has the potential to counteract the symptoms of neuromuscular disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agrin / administration & dosage*
  • Agrin / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Nerve Crush
  • Neuromuscular Junction / drug effects
  • Neuromuscular Junction / metabolism
  • Neuromuscular Junction / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / metabolism
  • Sarcopenia / complications
  • Sarcopenia / pathology
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology
  • Sciatic Nerve / drug effects
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism
  • Sciatic Nerve / pathology
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Solubility

Substances

  • Agrin
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • neurotrypsin

Grant support

This work was supported by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), project number 12887.1. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.