Mutations in the m.13094T>C MT-ND5 gene have been previously described in three cases of Leigh Syndrome (LS). In this retrospective, international cohort study we identified 20 clinically affected individuals (13 families) and four asymptomatic carriers. Ten patients were deceased at the time of analysis (median age of death was 10years (range: 5·4months-37years, IQR=17·9years). Nine patients manifested with LS, one with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), and one with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. The remaining nine patients presented with either overlapping syndromes or isolated neurological symptoms. Mitochondrial respiratory chain activity analysis was normal in five out of ten muscle biopsies. We confirmed maternal inheritance in six families, and demonstrated marked variability in tissue segregation, and phenotypic expression at relatively low blood mutant loads. Neuropathological studies of two patients manifesting with LS/MELAS showed prominent capillary proliferation, microvacuolation and severe neuronal cell loss in the brainstem and cerebellum, with conspicuous absence of basal ganglia involvement. These findings suggest that whole mtDNA genome sequencing should be considered in patients with suspected mitochondrial disease presenting with complex neurological manifestations, which would identify over 300 known pathogenic variants including the m.13094T>C.
Keywords: Heteroplasmy; Lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS); Leigh syndrome (LS); Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy; Neuropathology.
Copyright © 2018 German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.