Mitochondrial DNA depletion in sporadic inclusion body myositis

Neuromuscul Disord. 2019 Mar;29(3):242-246. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Feb 10.


Sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) is a late onset disorder of unkown aetiology. Mitochondrial changes such as cytochrome oxidase deficient fibres are a well recognised feature and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions have also been reported, but not consistently. Since mtDNA deletions are not present in all cases, we investigated whether other types of mtDNA abnormality were responsible for the mitochondrial changes. We studied 9 patients with sIBM. To control for fibre loss or replacement with inflammatory cells, we compared sIBM patients with necrotising myopathy (n = 4) as well as with healthy controls. Qualitative anlysis for mtDNA deletions and quantitative measurement of mtDNA copy number showed that muscle from patients with sIBM contained on average 67% less mtDNA than healthy controls (P = 0.001). The level of mtDNA was also significantly depleted in sIBM when compared to necrotising myopathy. No significant difference in copy number was seen in patients with necrotising myopathy compared to controls. Deletions of mtDNA were present in 4 patients with sIBM, but not all. Our findings suggest that mtDNA depletion is a more consistent finding in sIBM, and one that may be implicated in the pathogenesis of the disease.

Keywords: Mitochondrial DNA deletion; Mitochondrial DNA depletion; Necrotising myopathy; Sporadic inclusion body myositis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Myositis, Inclusion Body / genetics*
  • Myositis, Inclusion Body / pathology*
  • Sequence Deletion / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Electron Transport Complex IV