Poloxomer 188 Has a Deleterious Effect on Dystrophic Skeletal Muscle Function

Terry, R L and Kaneb, H M and Wells, D J (2014) Poloxomer 188 Has a Deleterious Effect on Dystrophic Skeletal Muscle Function. PLoS One, 9 (3). e91221.

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Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked, fatal muscle wasting disease for which there is currently no cure and limited palliative treatments. Poloxomer 188 (P188) is a tri-block copolymer that has been proposed as a potential treatment for cardiomyopathy in DMD patients. Despite the reported beneficial effects of P188 on dystrophic cardiac muscle function, the effects of P188 on dystrophic skeletal muscle function are relatively unknown. Mdx mice were injected intraperitoneally with 460 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg P188 dissolved in saline, or saline alone (control). The effect of single-dose and 2-week daily treatment was assessed using a muscle function test on the Tibialis Anterior (TA) muscle in situ in anaesthetised mice. The test comprises a warm up, measurement of the force-frequency relationship and a series of eccentric contractions with a 10% stretch that have previously been shown to cause a drop in maximum force in mdx mice. After 2 weeks of P188 treatment at either 30 or 460 mg/kg/day the drop in maximum force produced following eccentric contractions was significantly greater than that seen in saline treated control mice (P = 0.0001). Two week P188 treatment at either dose did not significantly change the force-frequency relationship or maximum isometric specific force produced by the TA muscle. In conclusion P188 treatment increases susceptibility to contraction-induced injury following eccentric contractions in dystrophic skeletal muscle and hence its suitability as a potential therapeutic for DMD should be reconsidered.

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