Mitochondrial DNA damage in calf skeletal muscle and walking performance in people with peripheral artery disease

Sunil K. Saini, Mary M. McDermott, Anna Picca, Lingyu Li, Stephanie E. Wohlgemuth, Kate Kosmac, Charlotte A. Peterson, Lu Tian, Luigi Ferrucci, Jack M. Guralnik, Robert L. Sufit, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in calf skeletal muscle and a greater abundance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) heteroplasmy. However, it is unknown whether calf skeletal muscle mtDNA of PAD participants harbors a greater abundance of mitochondrial DNA 4977-bp common deletion (mtDNA4977), strand breaks and oxidative damage (i.e., oxidized purines) compared to non-PAD participants and whether these mtDNA abnormalities are associated with poor walking performance in participants with PAD. Methods: Calf muscle biopsies were obtained from 50 PAD participants (ankle-brachial index (ABI) < 0.95) and 25 non-PAD participants (ABI = 0.99–1.40) matched by age, sex, and race. The abundance of mtDNA copy number, mtDNA4977 deletion, strand breaks, and oxidized purines in selected mtDNA regions coding for electron transport chain (ETC) constituents and the non-coding D-Loop region was determined in calf muscle. All participants completed measurement of 6-min walk and usual and fast-paced 4-m walking velocity test. Results: Participants with PAD (mean age = 65.4 years, SD = 6.9; 14 (28%) women, 38 (76%) black) and without PAD (mean age = 65.2 years, SD = 6.7; 7 (28%) women, 16 (64%) black) did not differ in the abundance of calf muscle mtDNA4977 deletion, mtDNA strand breaks, and oxidized purines. Though, a greater abundance of mtDNA strand breaks within ND4/5 genes was significantly associated with poorer 6-min walk distance, lower usual-paced 4-m walking velocity, and lower fast-paced 4-m walking velocity in non-PAD participants. Significant associations were also found in the density of strand break damage (i.e., damage per mtDNA copy) within ND1/2, ND4/5 and COII/ATPase 6/8 region with 6-min walk distance, usual-paced 4-m walking velocity and fast-paced 4-m walking velocity in non-PAD participants. Significant interactions were found between PAD presence vs. absence and density of strand break damage within ND1/2, ND4/5, COII/ATPase 6/8 regions for the associations with 6-min walk distance, usual-paced 4-m walking velocity, fast-paced 4-m walking velocity. Conversely, of the three walking performance measures only the usual-paced 4-m walking velocity showed a significant, although modest, negative association with the abundance of oxidized purines in the D-Loop (P = 0.031) and ND4/5 (P = 0.033) regions in the calf skeletal muscle of people with PAD. Conclusion: Overall, these data suggest that the abundance of calf muscle mtDNA strand breaks and mtDNA4977 common deletion are not associated with walking performance in people with PAD and may not be directly involved in the pathophysiology of PAD. Conversely, strand breaks in specific mtDNA regions may contribute to poor walking performance in people without PAD. Further study is needed to confirm whether usual-paced 4-m walking velocity is associated significantly with a greater abundance of oxidized purines in the D-loop, a “mutational hotspot” for oxidative damage, and why this association may differ from the association with 6-min walk distance and fast-paced 4-m walking velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-689
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2020

Keywords

  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Oxidative stress
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • mtDNA copy number
  • mtDNA deletion
  • mtDNA heteroplasmy
  • mtDNA mutations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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