Down Syndrome: Neuropsychological phenotype and mitochondrial DNA

Lomartire, Laura (2012) Down Syndrome: Neuropsychological phenotype and mitochondrial DNA, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale: progetto n. 2 "Patologia sperimentale", 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4552.
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Introduction. Down Syndrome (DS) is the most known autosomal trisomy, due to the presence in three copies of chromosome 21. Many studies were designed to identify phenotypic and clinical consequences related to the triple gene dosage. However, the general conclusion is a senescent phenotype; in particular, the most features of physiological aging, such as skin and hair changes, vision and hearing impairments, thyroid dysfunction, Alzheimer-like dementia, congenital heart defects, gastrointestinal malformations, immune system changes, appear in DS earlier than in normal age-matched subjects. The only established risk factor for the DS is advanced maternal age, responsible for changes in the meiosis of oocytes, in particular the meiotic nondisjunction of chromosome 21. In this process mitochondria play an important role since mitochondrial dysfunction, due to a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic influences, can profoundly influence the level of ATP generation in oocytes, required for a correct chromosomal segregation. Aim. The aim of this study is to investigate an integrated set of molecular genetic parameters (sequencing of complete mtDNA, heteroplasmy of the mtDNA control region, genotypes of APOE gene) in order to identify a possible association with the early neurocognitive decline observed in DS. Results. MtDNA point mutations do not accumulate with age in our study sample and do not correlate with early neurocognitive decline of DS subjects. It seems that D-loop heteroplasmy is largely not inherited and tends to accumulate somatically. Furthermore, in our study sample no association of cognitive impairment and ApoE genotype is found. Conclusions. Overall, our data cast some doubts on the involvement of these mutations in the decline of cognitive functions observed in DS.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lomartire, Laura
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Down Syndrome, mtDNA, aging
Data di discussione
3 Maggio 2012

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