Publications by authors named "Gianluca Gramegna"

5 Publications

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Functional characterization of ClC-1 mutations from patients affected by recessive myotonia congenita presenting with different clinical phenotypes.

Exp Neurol 2013 Oct 8;248:530-40. Epub 2013 Aug 8.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy & Drug Sciences, University of Bari-Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Myotonia congenita (MC) is caused by loss-of-function mutations of the muscle ClC-1 chloride channel. Clinical manifestations include the variable association of myotonia and transitory weakness. We recently described a cohort of recessive MC patients showing, at a low rate repetitive nerves stimulation protocol, different values of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) transitory depression, which is considered the neurophysiologic counterpart of transitory weakness. From among this cohort, we studied the chloride currents generated by G190S (associated with pronounced transitory depression), F167L (little or no transitory depression), and A531V (variable transitory depression) hClC-1 mutants in transfected HEK293 cells using patch-clamp. While F167L had no effect on chloride currents, G190S dramatically shifts the voltage dependence of channel activation and A531V reduces channel expression. Such variability in molecular mechanisms observed in the hClC-1 mutants may help to explain the different clinical and neurophysiologic manifestations of each ClCN1 mutation. In addition we examined five different mutations found in compound heterozygosis with F167L, including the novel P558S, and we identified additional molecular defects. Finally, the G190S mutation appeared to impair acetazolamide effects on chloride currents in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2013.07.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781327PMC
October 2013

Growth hormone secretagogues exert differential effects on skeletal muscle calcium homeostasis in male rats depending on the peptidyl/nonpeptidyl structure.

Endocrinology 2013 Oct 8;154(10):3764-75. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy-Drug Sciences, University of Bari, Via Orabona, 4, Campus, I-70125 Bari, Italy.

The orexigenic and anabolic effects induced by ghrelin and the synthetic GH secretagogues (GHSs) are thought to positively contribute to therapeutic approaches and the adjunct treatment of a number of diseases associated with muscle wasting such as cachexia and sarcopenia. However, many questions about the potential utility and safety of GHSs in both therapy and skeletal muscle function remain unanswered. By using fura-2 cytofluorimetric technique, we determined the acute effects of ghrelin, as well as of peptidyl and nonpeptidyl synthetic GHSs on calcium homeostasis, a critical biomarker of muscle function, in isolated tendon-to-tendon male rat skeletal muscle fibers. The synthetic nonpeptidyl GHSs, but not peptidyl ghrelin and hexarelin, were able to significantly increase resting cytosolic calcium [Ca²⁺]i. The nonpeptidyl GHS-induced [Ca²⁺]i increase was independent of GHS-receptor 1a but was antagonized by both thapsigargin/caffeine and cyclosporine A, indicating the involvement of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Evaluation of the effects of a pseudopeptidyl GHS and a nonpeptidyl antagonist of the GHS-receptor 1a together with a drug-modeling study suggest the conclusion that the lipophilic nonpeptidyl structure of the tested compounds is the key chemical feature crucial for the GHS-induced calcium alterations in the skeletal muscle. Thus, synthetic GHSs can have different effects on skeletal muscle fibers depending on their molecular structures. The calcium homeostasis dysregulation specifically induced by the nonpeptidyl GHSs used in this study could potentially counteract the beneficial effects associated with these drugs in the treatment of muscle wasting of cachexia- or other age-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2013-1334DOI Listing
October 2013

Paracrine effects of IGF-1 overexpression on the functional decline due to skeletal muscle disuse: molecular and functional evaluation in hindlimb unloaded MLC/mIgf-1 transgenic mice.

PLoS One 2014 3;8(6):e65167. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy & Drug Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Slow-twitch muscles, devoted to postural maintenance, experience atrophy and weakness during muscle disuse due to bed-rest, aging or spaceflight. These conditions impair motion activities and can have survival implications. Human and animal studies demonstrate the anabolic role of IGF-1 on skeletal muscle suggesting its interest as a muscle disuse countermeasure. Thus, we tested the role of IGF-1 overexpression on skeletal muscle alteration due to hindlimb unloading (HU) by using MLC/mIgf-1 transgenic mice expressing IGF-1 under the transcriptional control of MLC promoter, selectively activated in skeletal muscle. HU produced atrophy in soleus muscle, in terms of muscle weight and fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) reduction, and up-regulation of atrophy gene MuRF1. In parallel, the disuse-induced slow-to-fast fiber transition was confirmed by an increase of the fast-type of the Myosin Heavy Chain (MHC), a decrease of PGC-1α expression and an increase of histone deacetylase-5 (HDAC5). Consistently, functional parameters such as the resting chloride conductance (gCl) together with ClC-1 chloride channel expression were increased and the contractile parameters were modified in soleus muscle of HU mice. Surprisingly, IGF-1 overexpression in HU mice was unable to counteract the loss of muscle weight and the decrease of fiber CSA. However, the expression of MuRF1 was recovered, suggesting early effects on muscle atrophy. Although the expression of PGC-1α and MHC were not improved in IGF-1-HU mice, the expression of HDAC5 was recovered. Importantly, the HU-induced increase of gCl was fully contrasted in IGF-1 transgenic mice, as well as the changes in contractile parameters. These results indicate that, even if local expression does not seem to attenuate HU-induced atrophy and slow-to-fast phenotype transition, it exerts early molecular effects on gene expression which can counteract the HU-induced modification of electrical and contractile properties. MuRF1 and HDAC5 can be attractive therapeutic targets for pharmacological countermeasures and then deserve further investigations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0065167PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3670938PMC
January 2015

In-vivo administration of CLC-K kidney chloride channels inhibitors increases water diuresis in rats: a new drug target for hypertension?

J Hypertens 2012 Jan;30(1):153-67

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacobiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Objective: The human kidney-specific chloride channels ClC-Ka (rodent ClC-K1) and ClC-Kb (rodent ClC-K2) are important determinants of renal function, participating to urine concentration and blood pressure regulation mechanisms. Here we tested the hypothesis that these chloride channels could represent new drug targets for inducing diuretic and antihypertensive effects.

Methods: To this purpose, the CLC-K blockers benzofuran derivatives MT-189 and RT-93 (10, 50, 100 mg/kg), were acutely administered by gavage in Wistar rats, and pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic parameters determined by functional, bioanalytical, biochemical and molecular biology assays.

Results: Plasma concentration values for MT-189 and RT-93 were indicative of good bioavailability. Both MT-189 and RT-93 dose-dependently increased urine volume without affecting electrolyte balance. A comparable reduction of SBP was observed in rats after MT-189, RT-93 or furosemide administration. Benzofuran derivatives treatment did not affect kidney CLC-K mRNA level or inner medulla osmolality, whereas a significant vasopressin-independent down-regulation of aquaporin water channel type 2 was observed at protein and transcriptional levels. In rats treated with benzofuran derivatives, the observed polyuria was mainly water diuresis; this finding indirectly supports a cross-talk between chloride and water transport in nephron. Moreover, preliminary in-vitro evaluation of the drugs capability to cross the blood-inner ear barrier suggests that these compounds have a limited ability to induce potential auditory side effects.

Conclusion: CLC-K blockers may represent a new class of drugs for the treatment of conditions associated with expanded extracellular volume, with a hopeful high therapeutic potential for hypertensive patients carrying ClC-K gain-of-function polymorphisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834d9eb9DOI Listing
January 2012

Potential benefits of taurine in the prevention of skeletal muscle impairment induced by disuse in the hindlimb-unloaded rat.

Amino Acids 2012 Jul 11;43(1):431-45. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacobiology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Orabona 4, 70124, Bari, Italy.

Hindlimb unloading (HU) in rats induces severe atrophy and a slow-to-fast phenotype transition in postural slow-twitch muscles, as occurs in human disuse conditions, such as spaceflight or bed rest. In rats, a reduction of soleus muscle weight and a decrease of cross-sectional area (CSA) were observed as signs of atrophy. An increased expression of the fast-isoform of myosin heavy chain (MHC) showed the phenotype transition. In parallel the resting cytosolic calcium concentration (restCa) was decreased and the resting chloride conductance (gCl), which regulates muscle excitability, was increased toward the values of the fast-twitch muscles. Here, we investigated the possible role of taurine, which is known to modulate calcium homeostasis and gCl, in the restoration of muscle impairment due to 14-days-HU. We found elevated taurine content and higher expression of the taurine transporter TauT in the soleus muscle as compared to the fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of control rats. Taurine level was reduced in the HU soleus muscle, although, TauT expression was not modified. Taurine oral supplementation (5 g/kg) fully prevented this loss, and preserved resting gCl and restCa together with the slow MHC phenotype. Taurine supplementation did not prevent the HU-induced drop of muscle weight or fiber CSA, but it restored the expression of MURF-1, an atrophy-related gene, suggesting a possible early protective effect of taurine. In conclusion, taurine prevented the HU-induced phenotypic transition of soleus muscle and might attenuate the atrophic process. These findings argue for the beneficial use of taurine in the treatment of disuse-induced muscle dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-1099-4DOI Listing
July 2012