A novel mitochondrial DNA deletion producing progressive external ophthalmoplegia associated with multiple sclerosis

M Slee, James Finkemeyer, M. Krupa, Ravinarayan Raghupathi, J. Gardner, P C Blumbergs, M. Agzarian, D. Thyagarajan

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We report a previously undescribed 7676 base pair mitochondrial (mt)DNA deletion involving genes of complex I, complex IV subunits 2 and 3 (cytochrome oxidase [Cox] II, III), adenosine triphosphatase 8 and 6, cytochrome b and 8 transfer (t)RNA genes producing myopathy and progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO) in a 44-year-old right-handed Caucasian man with features of multiple sclerosis (MS). We performed complete mtDNA sequencing and deletion analysis, spectrophotometric analysis of muscle and platelet respiratory chain activity, measurement of platelet mitochondrial membrane potential with the potentiometric dye JC-1 and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and MRI studies of normal-appearing and lesional cerebral tissue. The deletion resulted in significant respiratory chain deficiency in muscle and blood and abnormalities of the platelet mitochondrial membrane potential. However, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, magnetic resonance spectroscopy and MRI features suggested inflammatory central nervous system demyelination rather than a primary respiratory chain disorder. We conclude that this novel mtDNA deletion causing myopathy and PEO is associated with severe muscle and platelet cellular energetic abnormalities. Furthermore, clinical and paraclinical features of multiple sclerosis were found. The potential pathomechanistic interaction between mtDNA variation and multiple sclerosis is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1324
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Progressive external ophthalmoplegia

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