Platelet mitochondrial evaluation during cytochrome c and dichloroacetate treatments of MELAS

Mitochondrion. 2005 Dec;5(6):426-33. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2005.10.002. Epub 2005 Nov 14.


We hypothesized that serial changes in platelet (PLT) mitochondrial enzyme (ME) activities might correspond to the effects of medications for mitochondrial encephalomyopathy and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). Cytochrome c and sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) were given to a 7-year-old girl with MELAS who had an A3243G mitochondrial DNA mutation. The effects were evaluated with whole PLT-ME assays, developed by our group, using a microplate-reader. During cytochrome c treatment, complex II+III (II+III), complex IV (IV) and citrate synthase (CS) activities showed gradual but statistically significant decrease. II+III activity dropped below normal. II+III/CS activity was initially below normal, followed by a transient improvement, then decreased again before the appearance of central nervous system symptoms. II+III, IV, II+III/CS and IV/CS activities reached their lowest levels in association with a stroke-like episode, then increased with DCA treatment. Our results suggest that progressive mitochondrial dysfunction may occur before the stroke-like episodes in MELAS and that DCA treatment may increase mitochondrial activities. Our whole PLT-ME assay system may be useful for serially evaluating mitochondrial functions in relation to clinical symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets / drug effects*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytochromes c / therapeutic use*
  • Dichloroacetic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MELAS Syndrome / blood
  • MELAS Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism


  • Cytochromes c
  • Dichloroacetic Acid