Introduction: The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) m.3243A > G mutation in the MT-TL1 gene results in a multi-systemic disease, that is commonly associated with neurodegenerative changes in the brain. Methods: Seventeen patients harboring the m3243A > G mutation were enrolled (age 43.1 ± 11.4 years, 10 M/7F). A panel of plasma biomarkers including lactate acid, alanine, L-arginine, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21), growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) and circulating cell free -mtDNA (ccf-mtDNA), as well as blood, urine and muscle mtDNA heteroplasmy were evaluated. Patients also underwent a brain standardized MR protocol that included volumetric T1-weighted images and diffusion-weighted MRI. Twenty sex- and age-matched healthy controls were included. Voxel-wise analysis was performed on T1-weighted and diffusion imaging, respectively with VBM (voxel-based morphometry) and TBSS (Tract-based Spatial Statistics). Ventricular lactate was also evaluated by 1H-MR spectroscopy. Results: A widespread cortical gray matter (GM) loss was observed, more severe (p < 0.001) in the bilateral calcarine, insular, frontal and parietal cortex, along with infratentorial cerebellar cortex. High urine mtDNA mutation load, high levels of plasma lactate and alanine, low levels of plasma arginine, high levels of serum FGF-21 and ventricular lactate accumulation significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with the reduced brain GM density. Widespread microstructural alterations were highlighted in the white matter, significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with plasma alanine and arginine levels, with mtDNA mutation load in urine, with high level of serum GDF-15 and with high content of plasma ccf-mtDNA. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the synergy of two pathogenic mechanisms, mtDNA-related mitochondrial respiratory deficiency and defective nitric oxide metabolism, contributes to the brain neurodegeneration in m.3243A > G patients.

Molecular biomarkers correlate with brain grey and white matter changes in patients with mitochondrial m.3243A > G mutation

Evangelisti S.;Gramegna L. L.;Talozzi L.;Bianchini C.;Mitolo M.;Manners D. N.;Valentino M. L.;Liguori R.;Carelli V.;Lodi R.;Testa C.;Tonon C.
2022

Abstract

Introduction: The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) m.3243A > G mutation in the MT-TL1 gene results in a multi-systemic disease, that is commonly associated with neurodegenerative changes in the brain. Methods: Seventeen patients harboring the m3243A > G mutation were enrolled (age 43.1 ± 11.4 years, 10 M/7F). A panel of plasma biomarkers including lactate acid, alanine, L-arginine, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21), growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) and circulating cell free -mtDNA (ccf-mtDNA), as well as blood, urine and muscle mtDNA heteroplasmy were evaluated. Patients also underwent a brain standardized MR protocol that included volumetric T1-weighted images and diffusion-weighted MRI. Twenty sex- and age-matched healthy controls were included. Voxel-wise analysis was performed on T1-weighted and diffusion imaging, respectively with VBM (voxel-based morphometry) and TBSS (Tract-based Spatial Statistics). Ventricular lactate was also evaluated by 1H-MR spectroscopy. Results: A widespread cortical gray matter (GM) loss was observed, more severe (p < 0.001) in the bilateral calcarine, insular, frontal and parietal cortex, along with infratentorial cerebellar cortex. High urine mtDNA mutation load, high levels of plasma lactate and alanine, low levels of plasma arginine, high levels of serum FGF-21 and ventricular lactate accumulation significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with the reduced brain GM density. Widespread microstructural alterations were highlighted in the white matter, significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with plasma alanine and arginine levels, with mtDNA mutation load in urine, with high level of serum GDF-15 and with high content of plasma ccf-mtDNA. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the synergy of two pathogenic mechanisms, mtDNA-related mitochondrial respiratory deficiency and defective nitric oxide metabolism, contributes to the brain neurodegeneration in m.3243A > G patients.
Evangelisti S.; Gramegna L.L.; La Morgia C.; Di Vito L.; Maresca A.; Talozzi L.; Bianchini C.; Mitolo M.; Manners D.N.; Caporali L.; Valentino M.L.; Liguori R.; Carelli V.; Lodi R.; Testa C.; Tonon C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/852529
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