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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1998 May;57(5):396-403.

Characterization of the mitochondrial DNA abnormalities in the skeletal muscle of patients with inclusion body myositis.

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Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Quebec, Canada.


Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is a late-onset inflammatory myopathy with distinctive clinical and histopathological features. The molecular basis for the disease remains unknown, but abnormal nuclear morphology and the accumulation of a protein that binds single-stranded DNA in a sequence-independent fashion suggest a nuclear defect. Evidence of mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction (ragged-red fibers, multiple mtDNA deletions) has been reported in IBM muscle. Here we have investigated the relationship of the mtDNA abnormalities in sporadic and familial IBM patients to the pathogenesis of the disease. In situ hybridization analysis with mtDNA probes revealed several different mtDNA abnormalities in cytochrome c oxidase-negative muscle fibers including large-scale mtDNA deletions and mtDNA depletion, but no evidence for nonspecific DNA binding. Contrary to previous reports, we did not observe mtDNA deletions on Southern blot analysis, consistent with the presence of multiple different deleted mtDNA species demonstrated by single fiber PCR. There was no consistent correlation between the mitochondrial abnormalities and markers of muscle regeneration, inflammation, or microscopically detectable pathological alterations of myonuclei in the same fibers. Thus, early molecular abnormalities in IBM may simply accelerate the accumulation of mtDNA abnormalities that occurs with natural aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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