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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of the protease inhibitor leupeptin on proteolytic activities and regeneration of mouse skeletal muscles after exercise injuries.

Leupeptin, a nontoxic thiol protease inhibitor, has been proposed to have therapeutic use in hereditary muscular dystrophies. The purpose of this study was to characterize the in vivo changes in proteolytic activity of skeletal muscles induced by the repeated administration of leupeptin. Further, whether the modulation of proteolytic capacity by leupeptin affects the repair process of muscle injuries caused by heavy exercise was studied. Leupeptin was administered in mice intraperitoneally at a dose level of 15.5 mg/kg twice a day for 9 days. Leupeptin, known to be an inhibitor of cathepsin B both in vitro and after a single injection in vivo, paradoxically induced an increase of cathepsin B activity in mouse skeletal muscles after repeated administration. In addition, leupeptin administration for 9 days increased the activities of cathepsins C and D, as well as the rate of acid autolysis. The activity of beta-glucuronidase also increased, while those of arylsulfatase, ribonuclease, and alkaline protease were unaffected. No histopathologic changes were observed. At the low dosage used, leupeptin had no effect on the repair process of skeletal muscle after exercise injuries, although several proteolytic processes occur during the regeneration. It is suggested that the increase of acid protease activities in skeletal muscles is an adaptive response to the administration of the proteolytic inhibitor leupeptin and that leupeptin can be administered without prevention or delay of regenerative processes after the onset of myopathic changes.[1]


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