Myotonic syndromes and periodic paralyses are rare disorders of skeletal muscle characterized mainly by muscle stiffness or episodic attacks of weakness. Familial forms are caused by mutation in genes coding for skeletal muscle voltage ionic channels. Familial periodic paralysis and nondystrophic myotonias are disorders of skeletal muscle excitability caused by mutations in genes coding for voltage-gated ion channels. These diseases are characterized by episodic failure of motor activity due to muscle weakness (paralysis) or stiffness (myotonia). Clinical studies have identified two forms of periodic paralyses: hypokalemic periodic paralysis (hypoKPP) and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (hyperKPP), based on changes in serum potassium levels during the attacks, and three distinct forms of myotonias: paramyotonia congenita (PC), potassium-aggravated myotonia (PAM), and myotonia congenita (MC). PC and PAM have been linked to missense mutations in the SCN4A gene, which encodes α subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channel, whereas MC is caused by mutations in the chloride channel gene (CLCN1). Exercise is known to trigger, aggravate, or relieve symptoms. Therefore, exercise can be used as a functional test in electromyography to improve the diagnosis of these muscle disorders. Abnormal changes in the compound muscle action potential can be disclosed using different exercise tests. Five electromyographic (EMG) patterns (I-V) that may be used in clinical practice as guides for molecular diagnosis are discussed.
Channelopathy; electromyographic; ion channel; myotonia; periodic paralysis
Five hereditary sodium channelopathies of skeletal muscle have been identified. Prominent symptoms are either myotonia or weakness caused by an increase or decrease of muscle fiber excitability. The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.4, initiator of the muscle action potential, is mutated in all five disorders. Pathogenetically, both loss and gain of function mutations have been described, the latter being the more frequent mechanism and involving not just the ion-conducting pore, but aberrant pores as well. The type of channel malfunction is decisive for therapy which consists either of exerting a direct effect on the sodium channel, i.e., by blocking the pore, or of restoring skeletal muscle membrane potential to reduce the fraction of inactivated channels.
Myotonia; Paramyotonia congenita; Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis; Hypokalemic periodic paralysis; Congenital myasthenic syndrome; Excitability; Muscle; Channels; Sodium channel; Muscle strength
A combination of electrophysiological and genetic studies has
resulted in the identification of several skeletal muscle disorders
to be caused by pathologically functioning ion channels
and has led to the term channelopathies. Typical hereditary
muscle channelopa thies are congenital myasthenic syndromes,
non-dystrophic myotonias, periodic paralyses, malignant hyperthermia,
and central core disease. Most muscle channelopathies
are commonly considered to be benign diseases. However, lifethreatening
weakness episodes or progressive permanent weakness
may make these diseases severe, particularly the periodic
paralyses (PP). Even in the typical PP forms characterized by
episodic occurrence of weakness, up to 60% of the patients suffer
from permanent weakness and myopathy with age. In addition,
some PP patients present with a predominant progressive muscle
weakness phenotype. The weakness can be explained by strongly
depolarized fibers that take up sodium and water and that are
electrically inexcitable. Drugs that repolarize the fiber membrane
can restore muscle strength and may prevent progression.
Congenital myasthenic syndromes; non-dystrophic
myotonias; periodic paralyses; susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia; central core disease
The CLC-1 chloride channel, a member of the CLC-channel/transporter family, plays important roles for the physiological functions of skeletal muscles. The opening of this chloride channel is voltage dependent and is also regulated by protons and chloride ions. Mutations of the gene encoding CLC-1 result in a genetic disease, myotonia congenita, which can be inherited as an autosmal dominant (Thomsen type) or an autosomal recessive (Becker type) pattern. These mutations are scattered throughout the entire protein sequence, and no clear relationship exists between the inheritance pattern of the mutation and the location of the mutation in the channel protein. The inheritance pattern of some but not all myotonia mutants can be explained by a working hypothesis that these mutations may exert a “dominant negative” effect on the gating function of the channel. However, other mutations may be due to different pathophysiological mechanisms, such as the defect of protein trafficking to membranes. Thus, the underlying mechanisms of myotonia are likely to be quite diverse, and elucidating the pathophysiology of myotonia mutations will require the understanding of multiple molecular/cellular mechanisms of CLC-1 channels in skeletal muscles, including molecular operation, protein synthesis, and membrane trafficking mechanisms.
Myotonia congenita is a hereditary muscle disorder caused by mutations in the human voltage-gated chloride (Cl−) channel CLC-1. Myotonia congenita can be inherited in an autosomal recessive (Becker type) or dominant (Thomsen type) fashion. One hypothesis for myotonia congenita is that the inheritance pattern of the disease is determined by the functional consequence of the mutation on the gating of CLC-1 channels. Several disease-related mutations, however, have been shown to yield functional CLC-1 channels with no detectable gating defects. In this study, we have functionally and biochemically characterized a myotonia mutant: A531V. Despite a gating property similar to that of wild-type (WT) channels, the mutant CLC-1 channel displayed a diminished whole-cell current density and a reduction in the total protein expression level. Our biochemical analyses further demonstrated that the reduced expression of A531V can be largely attributed to an enhanced proteasomal degradation as well as a defect in protein trafficking to surface membranes. Moreover, the A531V mutant protein also appeared to be associated with excessive endosomal-lysosomal degradation. Neither the reduced protein expression nor the diminished current density was rescued by incubating A531V-expressing cells at 27°C. These results demonstrate that the molecular pathophysiology of A531V does not involve anomalous channel gating, but rather a disruption of the balance between the synthesis and degradation of the CLC-1 channel protein.
Purpose of Review
To summarize advances in our understanding of the clinical phenotypes, genetics, and molecular pathophysiology of the periodic paralyses, the nondystrophic myotonias, and other muscle channelopathies.
The number of pathogenic mutations causing periodic paralysis, nondystrophic myotonias, and ryanodinopathies continues to grow with the advent of exon hierarchy analysis strategies for genetic screening and better understanding and recognition of disease phenotypes. Recent studies have expanded and clarified the role of gating pore current in channelopathy pathogenesis. It has been shown that the gating pore current can account for the molecular and phenotypic pathology observed in the muscle sodium channelopathies, and, given that homologous residues are affected in mutations of calcium channels, it is possible that pore leak represents a pathomechanism applicable to many channel diseases. Improvements in treatment of the muscle channelopathies are on the horizon. A randomized controlled trial has been initiated for the study of mexiletine in nondystrophic myotonias. The class IC anti-arrhythmia drug flecainide has been shown to depress ventricular ectopy and improve exercise capacity in patients with Andersen-Tawil syndrome.
Recent studies have expanded our understanding of gating pore current as a disease-causing mechanism in the muscle channelopathies and have allowed new correlations to be drawn between disease genotype and phenotype.
channelopathies; periodic paralysis; myotonia; ryanodine receptor
Five inherited human disorders affecting skeletal muscle contraction have been traced to mutations in the gene encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.4. The main symptoms of these disorders are myotonia or periodic paralysis caused by changes in skeletal muscle fiber excitability. Symptoms of these disorders vary from mild or latent disease to incapacitating or even death in severe cases. As new human sodium channel mutations corresponding to disease states become discovered, the importance of understanding the role of the sodium channel in skeletal muscle function and disease state grows.
sodium channel; skeletal muscle; Nav1.4; treatment
Myotonia congenita is a genetic muscle disorder characterized by clinical and electrical myotonia, muscle hypertrophy, and stiffness. It is inherited as either autosomal-dominant or –recessive, known as Thomsen and Becker diseases, respectively. These diseases are distinguished by the severity of their symptoms and their patterns of inheritance. Becker disease usually appears later in childhood than Thomsen disease and causes more severe muscle stiffness and pain. Mutations in the muscular voltage-dependent chloride channel gene (CLCN1), located at 7q35, have been found in both types. We report here the case of a Moroccan consanguineous family with a myotonic autosomal-recessive condition in two children. The molecular studies showed that the patients reported here are homozygous for mutation p.Gly482Arg in the CLCN1 gene. The parents were heterozygote carriers for mutation p.Gly482Arg. This diagnosis allowed us to provide an appropriate management to the patients and to make a genetic counselling to their family.
Autosomal recessive; CLCN1gene; myotonia congenital
The sodium channel blocker mexiletine is considered the first-line drug in myotonic syndromes, a group of muscle disorders characterized by membrane over-excitability. We previously showed that the β-adrenoceptor modulators, clenbuterol and propranolol, block voltage-gated sodium channels in a manner reminiscent to mexiletine, whereas salbutamol and nadolol do not. We now developed a pharmacological rat model of myotonia congenita to perform in vivo preclinical test of antimyotonic drugs. Myotonia was induced by i.p. injection of 30 mg/kg of anthracene-9-carboxylic acid (9-AC), a muscle chloride channel blocker, and evaluated by measuring the time of righting reflex (TRR). The TRR was prolonged from <0.5 s in control conditions to a maximum of ∼4 s, thirty minutes after 9-AC injection, then gradually recovered in a few hours. Oral administration of mexiletine twenty minutes after 9-AC injection significantly hampered the TRR prolongation, with an half-maximum efficient dose (ED50) of 12 mg/kg. Both propranolol and clenbuterol produced a dose-dependent antimyotonic effect similar to mexiletine, with ED50 values close to 20 mg/kg. Antimyotonic effects of 40 mg/kg mexiletine and propranolol lasted for 2 h. We also demonstrated, using patch-clamp methods, that both propranolol enantiomers exerted a similar block of skeletal muscle hNav1.4 channels expressed in HEK293 cells. The two enantiomers (15 mg/kg) also showed a similar antimyotonic activity in vivo in the myotonic rat. Among the drugs tested, the R(+)-enantiomer of propranolol may merit further investigation in humans, because it exerts antimyotonic effect in the rat model, while lacking of significant activity on the β-adrenergic pathway. This study provides a new and useful in vivo preclinical model of myotonia congenita in order to individuate the most promising antimyotonic drugs to be tested in humans.
► An in vivo pharmacological model of myotonia congenita was developed in the rat using 9-AC i.p. injection. ► A preclinical screening of antimyotonic drugs was performed. ► Propranolol and clenbuterol exert antimyotonic activity comparable to mexiletine. ► Both propranolol enantiomers block skeletal muscle hNav1.4 sodium channels in vitro. ► Both propranolol enantiomers exert similar antimyotonic effect in vivo.
Myotonia; Over-excitability; Propranolol; Mexiletine; In vivo rat model; hNav1.4; TRR, time of righting reflex; 9-AC, anthracene-9-carboxylic acid
Clinical, electrophysiological, and molecular genetic features
were investigated in two patients from a family a with dominantly inherited myotonic disease, characterised by painful cramps, stiffness without weakness, fluctuation of symptoms, and cold sensitivity. A
reduction in amplitude of the compound muscle action potential was
demonstrated on cooling and administration of potassium, although no clinical exacerbation was seen. A heterozygote mutation Val1589Met was identified in the α-subunit of the skeletal muscle sodium channel
gene in both patients, consistent with the diagnosis of potassium-aggravated myotonia. The phenotype in this family is much
milder than that previously described in another family with a mutation
at this site.
ClC-1 is a dimeric, double-pored chloride channel that is present in skeletal muscle. Mutations of this channel can result in the condition myotonia, a muscle disorder involving increased muscle stiffness. It has been shown that the dominant form of myotonia often results from mutations that affect the so-called slow, or common, gating process of the ClC-1 channel. Mutations causing dominant myotonia are seen to cluster at the interface of the ClC-1 channel monomers. This study has investigated the role of the H, I, P, and Q helices, which lie on this interface, as well as the G helix, which is situated immediately behind the H and I helices, on ClC-1 gating. 11 mutant ClC-1 channels (T268M, C277S, C278S, S289A, T310M, S312A, V321S, T539A, S541A, M559T, and S572V) were produced using site-directed mutagenesis, and gating properties of these channels were investigated using electrophysiological techniques. Six of the seven mutations in G, H, and I, and two of the four mutations in P and Q, caused shifts of the ClC-1 open probability. In the majority of cases this was due to alterations in the common gating process, with only three of the mutants displaying any change in fast gating. Many of the mutant channels also showed alterations in the kinetics of the common gating process, particularly at positive potentials. The changes observed in common gating were caused by changes in the opening rate (e.g. T310M), the closing rate (e.g. C277S), or both rates. These results indicate that mutations in the helices forming the dimer interface are able to alter the ClC-1 common gating process by changing the energy of the open and/or closed channel states, and hence altering transition rates between these states.
chloride channel; mutation; patch-clamping; myotonia
Autosomal dominant (Thomsen) and recessive (Becker) congenital myotonia are two different non dystrophic disorders, due to allelic mutations of the muscle chloride channel gene, located on chromosome 7q35. More than two thirds of the muscle chloride channel gene mutations occur independently in unique families and cause the recessive form of the disease. Becker disease is more common and severe than Thomsen disease. Here, we report on the clinical and molecular data of the first patient with maternal uniparental disomy for chromosome 7 and recessive congenital myotonia. The proband is a 15-year-old male, homozygous for a missense mutation within muscle chloride channel gene, showing few characteristic signs of the Silver Russell Syndrome.
Introduction: Myotonia Congenita is an inherited myotonia that is
due to a mutation in the skeletal muscle chloride channel CLCN1. These mutations
lead to reduced sarcolemmal chloride conductance, causing delayed muscle
relaxation that is evident as clinical and electrical myotonia.
Methods: We report the clinical presentations of two individuals
with Myotonia Congenita (MC).
Results: Patient 1 has been diagnosed with the recessive form of MC,
known as the Becker variant, and Patient 2 has been diagnosed with the dominant
form of MC, known as the Thomsen variant. In both patients, the diagnosis was
made based on the clinical presentation, EMG and CLCN1 gene sequencing. Patient
1 also had a muscle biopsy.
Conclusions: Genetic testing in both patients reveals previously
unidentified mutations in the CLCN1 gene specific to Myotonia Congenita. We
report the salient clinical features of each patient and discuss the effects and
common types of CLCN1 mutations and review the literature.
Myotonia Congenita; Becker variant; Thomsen variant; CLCN1 mutation
In myotonic dystrophy (dystrophia myotonica [DM]), an increase in the excitability of skeletal muscle leads to repetitive action potentials, stiffness, and delayed relaxation. This constellation of features, collectively known as myotonia, is associated with abnormal alternative splicing of the muscle-specific chloride channel (ClC-1) and reduced conductance of chloride ions in the sarcolemma. However, the mechanistic basis of the chloride channelopathy and its relationship to the development of myotonia are uncertain. Here we show that a morpholino antisense oligonucleotide (AON) targeting the 3′ splice site of ClC-1 exon 7a reversed the defect of ClC-1 alternative splicing in 2 mouse models of DM. By repressing the inclusion of this exon, the AON restored the full-length reading frame in ClC-1 mRNA, upregulated the level of ClC-1 mRNA, increased the expression of ClC-1 protein in the surface membrane, normalized muscle ClC-1 current density and deactivation kinetics, and eliminated myotonic discharges. These observations indicate that the myotonia and chloride channelopathy observed in DM both result from abnormal alternative splicing of ClC-1 and that antisense-induced exon skipping offers a powerful method for correcting alternative splicing defects in DM.
Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HyperKPP) produces myotonia and attacks of muscle weakness triggered by rest after exercise or by K+ ingestion. We introduced a missense substitution corresponding to a human familial HyperKPP mutation (Met1592Val) into the mouse gene encoding the skeletal muscle voltage-gated Na+ channel NaV1.4. Mice heterozygous for this mutation exhibited prominent myotonia at rest and muscle fiber-type switching to a more oxidative phenotype compared with controls. Isolated mutant extensor digitorum longus muscles were abnormally sensitive to the Na+/K+ pump inhibitor ouabain and exhibited age-dependent changes, including delayed relaxation and altered generation of tetanic force. Moreover, rapid and sustained weakness of isolated mutant muscles was induced when the extracellular K+ concentration was increased from 4 mM to 10 mM, a level observed in the muscle interstitium of humans during exercise. Mutant muscle recovered from stimulation-induced fatigue more slowly than did control muscle, and the extent of recovery was decreased in the presence of high extracellular K+ levels. These findings demonstrate that expression of the Met1592Val Na+ channel in mouse muscle is sufficient to produce important features of HyperKPP, including myotonia, K+-sensitive paralysis, and susceptibility to delayed weakness during recovery from fatigue.
Muscle degeneration and myotonia are clinical hallmarks of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), a multisystemic disorder caused by a CTG repeat expansion in the 3′ untranslated region of the myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene. Transgenic mice engineered to express mRNA with expanded (CUG)250 repeats (HSALR mice) exhibit prominent myotonia and altered splicing of muscle chloride channel gene (Clcn1) transcripts. We used whole-cell patch clamp recordings and nonstationary noise analysis to compare and biophysically characterize the magnitude, kinetics, voltage dependence, and single channel properties of the skeletal muscle chloride channel (ClC-1) in individual flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) muscle fibers isolated from 1–3-wk-old wild-type and HSALR mice. The results indicate that peak ClC-1 current density at −140 mV is reduced >70% (−48.5 ± 3.6 and −14.0 ± 1.6 pA/pF, respectively) and the kinetics of channel deactivation increased in FDB fibers obtained from 18–20- d-old HSALR mice. Nonstationary noise analysis revealed that the reduction in ClC-1 current density in HSALR FDB fibers results from a large reduction in ClC-1 channel density (170 ± 21 and 58 ± 11 channels/pF in control and HSALR fibers, respectively) and a modest decrease in maximal channel open probability(0.91 ± 0.01 and 0.75 ± 0.03, respectively). Qualitatively similar results were observed for ClC-1 channel activity in knockout mice for muscleblind-like 1 (Mbnl1ΔE3/ΔE3), a second murine model of DM1 that exhibits prominent myotonia and altered Clcn1 splicing (Kanadia et al., 2003). These results support a molecular mechanism for myotonia in DM1 in which a reduction in both the number of functional sarcolemmal ClC-1 and maximal channel open probability, as well as an acceleration in the kinetics of channel deactivation, results from CUG repeat–containing mRNA molecules sequestering Mbnl1 proteins required for proper CLCN1 pre-mRNA splicing and chloride channel function.
Inherited mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs; or Nav) cause many
disorders of excitability, including epilepsy, chronic pain, myotonia, and cardiac
arrhythmias. Understanding the functional consequences of the disease-causing
mutations is likely to provide invaluable insight into the roles that VGSCs play in
normal and abnormal excitability. Here, we sought to test the hypothesis that
disease-causing mutations lead to increased resurgent currents, unusual sodium
currents that have not previously been implicated in disorders of excitability. We
demonstrated that a paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD) mutation in the human
peripheral neuronal sodium channel Nav1.7, a paramyotonia congenita (PMC) mutation in
the human skeletal muscle sodium channel Nav1.4, and a long-QT3/SIDS mutation in the
human cardiac sodium channel Nav1.5 all substantially increased the amplitude of
resurgent sodium currents in an optimized adult rat–derived dorsal root
ganglion neuronal expression system. Computer simulations indicated that resurgent
currents associated with the Nav1.7 mutation could induce high-frequency action
potential firing in nociceptive neurons and that resurgent currents associated with
the Nav1.5 mutation could broaden the action potential in cardiac myocytes. These
effects are consistent with the pathophysiology associated with the respective
channelopathies. Our results indicate that resurgent currents are associated with
multiple channelopathies and are likely to be important contributors to neuronal and
muscle disorders of excitability.
Background and Purpose
Mutations of the skeletal muscle sodium channel gene SCN4A, which is located on chromosome 17q23-25, are associated with various neuromuscular disorders that are labeled collectively as skeletal muscle sodium channelopathy. These disorders include hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP), hypokalemic periodic paralysis, paramyotonia congenita (PMC), potassium-aggravated myotonia, and congenital myasthenic syndrome. This study analyzed the clinical and mutational spectra of skeletal muscle sodium channelopathy in Korean subjects.
Six unrelated Korean patients with periodic paralysis or nondystrophic myotonia associated with SCN4A mutations were included in the study. For the mutational analysis of SCN4A, we performed a full sequence analysis of the gene using the patients' DNA. We also analyzed the patients' clinical history, physical findings, laboratory tests, and responses to treatment.
We identified four different mutations (one of which was novel) in all of the patients examined. The novel heterozygous missense mutation, p.R225W, was found in one patient with mild nonpainful myotonia. Our patients exhibited various clinical phenotypes: pure myotonia in four, and PMC in one, and HYPP in one. The four patients with pure myotonia were initially diagnosed as having myotonia congenita (MC), but a previous analysis revealed no CLCN1 mutation.
Clinical differentiating between sodium-channel myotonia (SCM) and MC is not easy, and it is suggested that a mutational analysis of both SCN4A and CLCN1 is essential for the differential diagnosis of SCM and MC.
Wordsaamyotonic disorders; familial periodic paralyses; SCN4A
Sodium channelopathies (NaCh), as part of the non-dystrophic myotonic syndromes (NDMs), reflect a heterogeneous group of clinical phenotypes accompanied by a generalized myotonia. Because of recent availability of diagnostic genetic testing in NDM, there is a need for identification of clear clinical genotype–phenotype correlations. This will enable clinicians to distinguish NDMs from myotonic dystrophy, thus allowing them to inform patients promptly about the disease, perform genetic counseling, and orient therapy (Vicart et al. Neurol Sci 26:194–202, 2005). We describe the first distinctive clinical genotype–phenotype correlation within NaCh: a strictly isolated eyelid closure myotonia associated with the L250P mutation in SCN4A. Using clinical assessment and needle EMG, we identified this genotype–phenotype correlation in six L250P patients from one NaCh family and confirmed this finding in another, unrelated NaCh family with three L250P patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10048-009-0225-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Non-dystrophic myotonic syndromes; Sodium channelopathies; SCN4A; Nav1.4; Genotype–phenotype correlation
Hypokalemic periodic paralysis (HypoPP) is an ion channelopathy of skeletal muscle characterized by attacks of muscle weakness associated with low serum K+. HypoPP results from a transient failure of muscle fiber excitability. Mutations in the genes encoding a calcium channel (CaV1.1) and a sodium channel (NaV1.4) have been identified in HypoPP families. Mutations of NaV1.4 give rise to a heterogeneous group of muscle disorders, with gain-of-function defects causing myotonia or hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. To address the question of specificity for the allele encoding the NaV1.4-R669H variant as a cause of HypoPP and to produce a model system in which to characterize functional defects of the mutant channel and susceptibility to paralysis, we generated knockin mice carrying the ortholog of the gene encoding the NaV1.4-R669H variant (referred to herein as R669H mice). Homozygous R669H mice had a robust HypoPP phenotype, with transient loss of muscle excitability and weakness in low-K+ challenge, insensitivity to high-K+ challenge, dominant inheritance, and absence of myotonia. Recovery was sensitive to the Na+/K+-ATPase pump inhibitor ouabain. Affected fibers had an anomalous inward current at hyperpolarized potentials, consistent with the proposal that a leaky gating pore in R669H channels triggers attacks, whereas a reduction in the amplitude of action potentials implies additional loss-of-function changes for the mutant NaV1.4 channels.
Voltage-dependent sodium channels are the central players in the excitability of neurons, cardiac muscle, and skeletal muscle. Hundreds of mutations in sodium channels have been associated with human disease, particularly genetic forms of epilepsy, arrhythmias, myotonia, and periodic paralysis. In this issue of the JCI, Jarecki and colleagues present evidence suggesting that many such mutations alter the gating of sodium channels to produce resurgent sodium current, an unusual form of gating in which sodium channels reopen following an action potential, thus promoting the firing of another action potential (see the related article beginning on page 369). The results of this study suggest a widespread pathophysiological role for this mechanism, previously described to occur normally in only a few types of neurons.
ClC-1 belongs to the gene family of CLC Cl− channels and Cl−/H+ antiporters. It is the major skeletal muscle chloride channel and is mutated in dominant and recessive myotonia. In addition to the membrane-embedded part, all mammalian CLC proteins possess a large cytoplasmic C-terminal domain that bears two so-called CBS (from cystathionine-β-synthase) domains. Several studies indicate that these domains might be involved in nucleotide binding and regulation. In particular, Bennetts et al. (J. Biol. Chem. 2005. 280:32452–32458) reported that the voltage dependence of hClC-1 expressed in HEK cells is regulated by intracellular ATP and other nucleotides. Moreover, very recently, Bennetts et al. (J. Biol. Chem. 2007. 282:32780–32791) and Tseng et al. (J. Gen. Physiol. 2007. 130:217–221) reported that the ATP effect was enhanced by intracellular acidification. Here, we show that in striking contrast with these findings, human ClC-1, expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied with the inside-out configuration of the patch-clamp technique, is completely insensitive to intracellular ATP at concentrations up to 10 mM, at neutral pH (pH 7.3) as well as at slightly acidic pH (pH 6.2). These results have implications for a general understanding of nucleotide regulation of CLC proteins and for the physiological role of ClC-1 in muscle excitation.
Nondystrophic myotonia (NDM) is caused by mutations in muscle chloride and sodium channels. Currently there is no standardized instrument for documenting symptom frequency and severity in NDM.
Subjects used an automated interactive telephone-based voice response diary (IVR) to record frequency and severity of stiffness, weakness, pain, and tiredness once a week for 8 weeks following their baseline visits.
Here we describe the IVR and report data on 76 subjects for a total of 385 person-weeks. Overall there were 5.1 calls per subject. Forty-eight subjects called in 5 or more times, and 14 called in 8 times. Stiffness was both the most frequent and severe symptom. Warm-up and handgrip myotonia were associated with higher severity scores for stiffness.
IVR is a convenient technology to allow patient reporting of repeated and real-time symptom frequency and severity, and is being used in a trial of mexiletine in NDM.
myotonia; nondystrophic myotonia; patient reported outcome measures; ion channel gene defects; muscle disease
Background and purpose
Fatigue and pain have been previously shown to be important determinants for decreasing quality of life (QoL) in one report in patients with non-dystrophic myotonia. The aims of our study were to assess QoL in skeletal muscle channelopathies (SMC) using INQoL (individualized QoL) and SF-36 questionnaires.
We administered INQoL and SF-36 to 66 Italian patients with SMC (26: periodic paralysis, 36: myotonia congenita and 4: Andersen-Tawil) and compared the results in 422 patients with myotonic dystrophies (DM1: 382; and DM2: 40).
(i) INQoL index in SMC is similar to that in DMs (P = 0.79). (ii) Patients with myotonia congenita have the worst perception of QoL. (iii) Myotonia has the most detrimental effect on patients with myotonia congenita, followed by patients with DM2 and then by patients with DM1 and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. (iv) Pain is a significant complaint in patients with myotonia congenita, hypokalemic periodic paralysis and DM2 but not in DM1. (v) Fatigue has a similar detrimental effect on all patient groups except for patients with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in whom muscle weakness and myotonia more than fatigue affect QoL perception. (vi) Muscle symptoms considered in INQoL correlate with physical symptoms assessed by SF-36 (R from −0.34 to −0.76).
QoL perception in patients with SMC is similar to that of patients with DMs, chronic multisystem disabling conditions. Our results provide information to target treatment and health care of these patients. The sensitivity of INQoL to changes in QoL in the SMC needs to be further explored in longitudinal studies.
INQoL; myotonic dystrophy; non-dystrophic myotonias; quality of life; SF-36; skeletal muscle channelopathies
Linkage studies were performed in six European families with hyperkalaemic periodic paralysis (PPII) with myotonia, an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder characterised by episodic weakness. The weakness is caused by non-inactivating sodium channels of reduced single channel conductance of the muscle fibre membrane. Recently, portions of the gene coding for the alpha subunit of the sodium channel of the adult human skeletal muscle (h-Na2) have been cloned and localised on chromosome 17q with no recombinants to the human growth hormone locus (GH1). Linkage between these two chromosome 17 markers and the disease was shown in our families (Z = 7.14, 0 = 0.00). These results, combined with the linkage data of a single large American family, suggest that the disease is caused by dominant mutations of the adult sodium channel, and that it is probably a genetically homogeneous disorder. Hyperkalaemic periodic paralysis is the first non-progressive myotonic disorder to be localised on the human genome.