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High levels of mitochondrial DNA deletions in substantia nigra neurons in aging and Parkinson disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Morris, Geoffrey Taylor, Dr Amy Reeve, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry, Dr Evelyn Jaros, Professor Robert Taylor, Emeritus Professor Doug Turnbull


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Here we show that in substantia nigra neurons from both aged controls and individuals with Parkinson disease, there is a high level of deleted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (controls, 43.3% ± 9.3%; individuals with Parkinson disease, 52.3% ± 9.3%). These mtDNA mutations are somatic, with different clonally expanded deletions in individual cells, and high levels of these mutations are associated with respiratory chain deficiency. Our studies suggest that somatic mtDNA deletions are important in the selective neuronal loss observed in brain aging and in Parkinson disease. © 2006 Nature Publishing Group.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bender A, Krishnan KJ, Morris CM, Taylor GA, Reeve AK, Perry RH, Jaros E, Hersheson JS, Betts J, Klopstock T, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Genetics

Year: 2006

Volume: 38

Issue: 5

Pages: 515-517

ISSN (print): 1061-4036

ISSN (electronic): 1546-1718

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/ng1769

PubMed id: 16604074


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust
074454Wellcome Trust
G0700718Medical Research Council