Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm ) in leucocytes as post-COVID-19 sequelae

J Leukoc Biol. 2022 Jul;112(1):23-29. doi: 10.1002/JLB.3MA0322-279RRR. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


The mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm ) is a parameter often used to determine mitochondrial function; therefore, it can be used to determine the integrity and functionality of cells. A decrement of ΔΨm is implicated in several inflammatory-related pathologies, such phenomena can be related to COVID-19 infection. The present work aimed to compare the ΔΨm in leucocytes (human PBMCs; HPBMC) isolated from healthy control (HC) subjects, patients with COVID-19 (C-19), recovered subjects at 40 ± 13 (R1) and 335 ± 20 (R2) days after infection (dai). Obtained data showed that ΔΨm decreased in HPBMC of subjects with C-19, R1, and R2 compared with HC. When analyzing the ΔΨm data by sex, in females, a significant decrease was observed in R1 and R2 groups versus HC. Regarding men, a significant decrease of ΔΨm was observed in R1, with respect to HC, contrary to R2 group, who reestablished this parameter. Obtained results suggest that the loss of ΔΨm could be related to the long-COVID.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; leucocytes; mitochondrial membrane potential; response sex-associated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome