Preprint Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Fatigue in Sjögren's Disease, 2024, Kurien et al

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by Kalliope, Jul 8, 2024.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)


    Objectives: Sjögren's disease (SjD) is a common exocrine disorder typified by chronic inflammation and dryness, but also profound fatigue, suggesting a pathological basis in cellular bioenergetics. In healthy states, damaged or dysfunctional mitochondrial components are broken down and recycled by mitophagy, a specialized form of autophagy. In many autoimmune disorders, however, evidence suggests that dysfunctional mitophagy allows poorly functioning mitochondria to persist and contribute to a cellular milieu with elevated reactive oxygen species. We hypothesized that mitophagic processes are dysregulated in SjD and that dysfunctional mitochondria contribute to overall fatigue. We sought to link fatigue with mitochondrial dysfunction directly in SjD, heretofore unexamined, and further sought to assess the pathogenic extent and implications of dysregulated mitophagy in SjD.

    Methods: We isolated pan T cells via negative selection from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 17 SjD and 8 age-matched healthy subjects, all of whom completed fatigue questionnaires prior to phlebotomy. Isolated T cells were analyzed for mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and glycolysis using Seahorse, and linear correlations with fatigue measures were assessed. A mitophagy transcriptional signature in SjD was identified by reanalysis of whole-blood microarray data from 190 SjD and 32 healthy subjects. Differential expression analyses were performed by case/control and subgroup analyses comparing SjD patients by mitophagy transcriptional cluster against healthy subjects followed by bioinformatic interpretation using gene set enrichment analysis.

    Results: Basal OCR, ATP-linked respiration, maximal respiration, and reserve capacity were significantly lower in SjD compared to healthy subjects with no observed differences in non-mitochondrial respiration, basal glycolysis, or glycolytic stress. SjD lymphocytic mitochondria show structural alterations compared to healthy subjects. Fatigue scores related to pain/discomfort in SjD correlated with the altered OCR. Results from subgroup analyses by mitophagic SjD clusters revealed highly variable inter-cluster differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and expanded the number of SjD-associated gene targets by tenfold within the same dataset.

    Conclusion: Mitochondrial dysfunction, associated with fatigue, is a significant problem in SjD and warrants further investigation.

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