Impaired neuromuscular transmission and response to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in centronuclear myopathies.
Robb SA., Sewry CA., Dowling JJ., Feng L., Cullup T., Lillis S., Abbs S., Lees MM., Laporte J., Manzur AY., Knight RK., Mills KR., Pike MG., Kress W., Beeson D., Jungbluth H., Pitt MC., Muntoni F.
Many clinical features of autosomal centronuclear myopathies (CNM) and X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM) are common to congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS). We describe three children whose clinical and electrophysiological findings originally suggested CMS, in whom CNM was diagnosed pathologically, though not yet genetically characterised. A fourth case, with XLMTM, also showed electrophysiological features of a neuromuscular transmission defect. Three (including the XLMTM case) showed improved strength with acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment. We also studied neuromuscular junction structure and function in the MTM1 knockdown zebrafish model of XLMTM, demonstrating abnormal neuromuscular junction organization; anticholinesterase therapy resulted in marked clinical response. These observations suggest that a neuromuscular transmission defect may accompany CNM and contribute to muscle weakness. Muscle biopsy should be considered in infants suspected to have CMS, especially if treatment response is incomplete, or no CMS gene mutation is identified. Treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may benefit some CNM patients. This warrants further confirmation.