Thrombospondin-1 and disease progression in dysferlinopathy.

Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Dec 15;26(24):4951-4960. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx378.
Urao N, Mirza RE, Corbiere TF, Hollander Z, Borchers CH5, Koh TJ

The purpose of this study was to determine whether thrombospondin (TSP)-1 promotes macrophage activity and disease progression in dysferlinopathy. First, we found that levels of TSP-1 are elevated in blood of non-ambulant dysferlinopathy patients compared with ambulant patients and healthy controls, supporting the idea that TSP-1 levels are correlated with disease progression. We then crossed dysferlinopathic BlaJ mice with TSP-1 knockout mice and assessed disease progression longitudinally with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In these mice, deletion of TSP-1 ameliorated loss in volume and mass of the moderately affected gluteal muscle but not of the severely affected psoas muscle. T2 MRI parameters revealed that loss of TSP-1 modestly inhibited inflammation only in gluteal muscle of male mice. Histological assessment indicated that deletion of TSP-1 reduced inflammatory cell infiltration of muscle fibers, but only early in disease progression. In addition, flow cytometry analysis revealed that, in males, TSP-1 knockout reduced macrophage infiltration and phagocytic activity, which is consistent with TSP-1-enhanced phagocytosis and pro-inflammatory cytokine induction in cultured macrophages. In summary, TSP-1 appears to play an accessory role in modulating Mp activity in BlaJ mice in a gender, age and muscle-dependent manner, but is unlikely a primary driver of disease progression of dysferlinopathy.