OBJECTIVE: To follow the clinical course of patients with the mitochondrial DNA mutation 3243A>G for 3 years. METHODS: Thirty-three adult patients with the 3243A>G mutation entered a 3-year follow-up study. They were clinically evaluated annually, audiometry was performed, and samples were drawn for the analysis of blood chemistry and mutation heteroplasmy in leukocytes. Holter recording was performed three times during the follow-up and echocardiography, neuropsychological assessment, and quantitative EEG and brain imaging conducted at entry and after 3 years. RESULTS: The incidence of new neurologic events was low during the 3-year follow-up. Sensorineural hearing impairment (SNHI) progressed, left ventricular wall thickness increased, mean alpha frequency in the occipital and parietal regions decreased, and the severity of disease index (modified Rankin score) progressed significantly. The rate of SNHI progression correlated with mutation heteroplasmy in muscle. The increase in left ventricular wall thickness was seen almost exclusively in diabetic patients. Seven patients died during the follow-up, and they were generally more severely affected than those who survived. CONCLUSIONS: Significant changes in the severity of disease, sensorineural hearing impairment, left ventricular hypertrophy, and quantitative EEG were seen in adult patients with 3243A>G during the 3-year follow-up.
Comment In: Neurology. 2007 Jan 9;68(2):163-417210904
The A1555G mutation of the mtDNA is associated with both aminoglycoside-induced and non-syndromic hearing loss. The A1555G is relatively frequent in the Spanish and some Asian populations, but has only been reported rarely in other populations, possibly because of ascertainment bias. We studied 85 Danish patients with varying degrees of hearing impairment and found two patients with the A1555G mutation (2.4%). Neither had received aminoglycosides. Our study indicates that the mutation might not be uncommon in Danish patients with hearing impairment.
The activity of the pituitary-gonadal axis (PG axis) in pre-migratory and homing chum salmon was examined because endocrine mechanisms underlying the onset of spawning migration remain unknown. Pre-migratory fish were caught in the central Bering Sea in June, July and September 2001, 2002 and 2003, and in the Gulf of Alaska in February 2006. They were classified into immature and maturing adults on the basis of gonadal development. The maturing adults commenced spawning migration to coastal areas by the end of summer, because almost all fish in the Bering Sea were immature in September. In the pituitaries of maturing adults, the copy numbers of FSHbeta mRNA and the FSH content were 2.5- to 100-fold those of the immature fish. Similarly, the amounts of LHbeta mRNA and LH content in the maturing adults were 100- to 1000-fold those of immature fish. The plasma levels of testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone and estradiol were higher than 10 nmol l(-1) in maturing adults, but lower than 1.0 nmol l(-1) in immature fish. The increase in the activity of the PG-axis components had already initiated in the maturing adults while they were still in the Gulf of Alaska in winter. In the homing adults, the pituitary contents and the plasma levels of gonadotropins and plasma sex steroid hormones peaked during upstream migration from the coast to the natal hatchery. The present results thus indicate that the seasonal increase in the activity of the PG axis is an important endocrine event that is inseparable from initiation of spawning migration of chum salmon.
Although at least 30 novel hantaviruses have been recently discovered in novel hosts such as shrews, moles and even bats, hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus) are primarily known as rodent-borne human pathogens. Here we report on identification of a novel hantavirus variant associated with a rodent host, Major's pine vole (Microtus majori). Altogether 36 hantavirus PCR-positive Major's pine voles were identified in the Krasnodar region of southern European Russia within the years 2008-2011. Initial partial L-segment sequence analysis revealed novel hantavirus sequences. Moreover, we found a single common vole (Microtusarvalis) infected with Tula virus (TULV). Complete S- and M-segment coding sequences were determined from 11 Major's pine voles originating from 8 trapping sites and subjected to phylogenetic analyses. The data obtained show that Major's pine vole is a newly recognized hantavirus reservoir host. The newfound virus, provisionally called Adler hantavirus (ADLV), is closely related to TULV. Based on amino acid differences to TULV (5.6-8.2% for nucleocapsid protein, 9.4-9.5% for glycoprotein precursor) we propose to consider ADLV as a genotype of TULV. Occurrence of ADLV and TULV in the same region suggests that ADLV is not only a geographical variant of TULV but a host-specific genotype. High intra-cluster nucleotide sequence variability (up to 18%) and geographic clustering indicate long-term presence of the virus in this region.
Adult-onset calorie restriction (A-CR) is an experimental model of life extension and healthy aging less explored, compared with calorie restriction begun at early ages, but one more realistic for human application. We examined the effect of A-CR on the aging rat kidney with respect to common structural age-dependent changes and the accumulation of mitochondrial enzyme abnormalities in tubular epithelial cells. A 40% calorie restriction was initiated in middle-aged rats, before the onset of significant age-related changes in the Fischer x Brown Norway rat kidney. This dietary intervention effectively reduced glomerulosclerosis and tubular atrophy within 6 mo and changed the rate of interstitial fibrosis formation within 1 yr and vascular wall thickening and the expression cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-deficient tubular epithelial cells in 18 mo compared with age-matched ad libitum-fed rats. Our histological approach (histochemical staining for mitochondrial enzyme activity and laser capture microdissection) coupled with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) PCR analyses demonstrated that COX-deficient renal tubular epithelial cells accumulated mtDNA deletion mutations and that these cells contained unique, clonally expanded mtDNA deletion mutations. Renal tubular epithelial cells with mitochondrial abnormalities presented cellular characteristics indicative of physiological dysfunction.
We describe a family with three cases of "clinically incomplete mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes (MELAS) syndrome" in which heteroplasmic tRNA(Leu(UUR)) mutation at nucleotide 3243 of the mitochondrial DNA was present in three generations. The amount of mutant genome varied among tissues: it was 60% in the kidney, 72% in the cardiac muscle, and 91% in the liver of the female proband's affected brother and 63% in the kidney, 71% in the cardiac muscle, and 71% in the liver of the female proband's perinatally deceased son. The tRNA(Leu(UUR)) mutation was also carried by the siblings of the proband's affected mother. None of them had any clinical signs of MELAS syndrome. This syndrome has the new feature of being associated with adult-onset diabetes mellitus, neurosensory hearing loss, and short stature.
Using the coalescent process, DNA sequences of a sample of individuals can be used to study the phylogenetic history of the individuals. Under the infinitely-many-sites mutation model, the DNA sequence data can be summarized by the number of segregating sites (which is numerically equivalent to the number of mutations on the tree). A number of methods exist, including a recursive method presented in this paper, that obtain an estimate of the age of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA), given the number of mutations. This paper introduces a method for finding the ages of mutations, given the total number of mutations on the tree. While the result is not useful in estimating the age of a specific segregating site, it is useful in examining the underlying assumption of a relatively constant population over time. This utilization of the result is illustrated using DNA sequence data obtained from a sample of Amerindians of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribe.
Native Americans have been divided into three linguistic groups: the reasonably well-defined Eskaleut and Nadene of northern North America and the highly heterogeneous Amerind of North, Central, and South America. The heterogeneity of the Amerinds has been proposed to be the result of either multiple independent migrations or a single ancient migration with extensive in situ radiation. To investigate the origin and interrelationship of the American Indians, we examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in 87 Amerinds (Pima, Maya, and Ticuna of North, Central, and South America, respectively), 80 Nadene (Dogrib and Tlingit of northwest North America and Navajo of the southwest North America), and 153 Asians from 7 diverse populations. American Indian mtDNAs were found to be directly descended from five founding Asian mtDNAs and to cluster into four lineages, each characterized by a different rare Asian mtDNA marker. Lineage A is defined by a HaeIII site gain at np 663, lineage B by a 9-bp deletion between the COII and tRNA(Lys) genes, lineage C by a HincII site loss at np 13259, and lineage D by an AluI site loss at np 5176. The North, Central, and South America Amerinds were found to harbor all four lineages, demonstrating that the Amerinds originated from a common ancestral genetic stock. The genetic variation of three of the four Amerind lineages (A, C, and D) was similar with a mean value of 0.084%, whereas the sequence variation in the fourth lineage (B) was much lower, raising the possibility of an independent arrival. By contrast, the Nadene mtDNAs were predominantly from lineage A, with 27% of them having a Nadene-specific RsaI site loss at np 16329. The accumulated Nadene variation was only 0.021%. These results demonstrate that the Amerind mtDNAs arose from one or maybe two Asian migrations that were distinct from the migration of the Nadene and that the Amerind populations are about four times older than the Nadene.