Objective: Mitochondrial diseases are a group of devastating disorders for which there is no transformative cure. The majority of therapies for mitochondrial disease-approved, previously tested, or currently in development-are small molecules. The implementation of better cell-based models of mitochondrial disease can accelerate and improve the accuracy of small molecule drug discovery. The objective of this study is to evaluate the use of patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines for small molecule research in mitochondrial disease.
Results: Five lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from mitochondrial disease patients harboring point mutations in mtND1, mtND4, or mtATP6 were characterized in two high throughput assays assessing mitochondrial function. In a pilot "clinical trial in a dish" experiment, the efficacy of idebenone-an approved therapy for mitochondrial disease-on the lymphoblastoid cell lines was tested. Idebenone increased the basal respiration of all lymphoblastoid cell lines except those harboring the 8993T>G point mutation in mtATP6. Our results posit lymphoblastoid cell lines as a strong model for mitochondrial disease research with small molecules and have implications for the clinical efficacy of idebenone.
Keywords: ATP6; High-throughput screening; Idebenone; Lymphoblastoid cell lines; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial disease; ND1; ND4; Respiration.