Effects of Monoamino-Oxidase-A (MAO-A) Inhibition on Skeletal Muscle Inflammation and Wasting through Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma in Triple Transgenic Mice
Cancer cachexia describes a syndrome of muscle wasting and lipolysis that is still largely untreatable and negatively impacts prognosis, mobility, and healthcare costs. Since upregulation of skeletal muscle monoamine-oxidase-A (MAO-A), a source of reactive oxygen species, may contribute to cachexia, we investigated the effects of the MAO-inhibitor harmine-hydrochloride (HH, intraperitoneal, 8 weeks) on muscle wasting in a triple-transgenic mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and wild type (WT) mice. Gastrocnemius and soleus muscle cryo-cross-sections were analyzed for fiber type-specific cross-sectional area (CSA), fraction and capillarization using ATPase- and lectin-stainings. Transcripts of pro-apoptotic, -atrophic, and -inflammatory signals were determined by RT-qPCR. Furthermore, we evaluated the integrity of neuromuscular junction (NMJ, pre-/post-synaptic co-staining) and mitochondrial ultrastructure (transmission electron microscopy). MAO-A expression in gastrocnemius muscle was increased with PDAC vs. WT (immunohistochemistry: p < 0.05; Western blot: by trend). PDAC expectedly reduced fiber CSA and upregulated IL-1β in both calf muscles, while MuRF1 expression increased in soleus muscle only. Although IL-1β decreased, HH caused an additional 38.65% ( p < 0.001) decrease in gastrocnemius muscle (IIBX) fiber CSA. Moreover, soleus muscle CSA remained unchanged despite the downregulation of E3-ligases FBXO32 ( p < 0.05) and MuRF1 ( p < 0.01) through HH. Notably, HH significantly decreased the post-synaptic NMJ area (quadriceps muscle) and glutathione levels (gastrocnemius muscle), thereby increasing mitochondrial damage and centronucleation in soleus and gastrocnemius type IIBX fibers. Moreover, although pro-atrophic/-inflammatory signals are reversed, HH unfortunately fails to stop and rather promotes PDAC-related muscle wasting, possibly via denervation or mitochondrial damage. These differential adverse vs. therapeutic effects warrant studies regarding dose-dependent benefits and risks with consideration of other targets of HH, such as the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation regulated kinases 1A and B (DYRK1A/B).