J Inherit Metab Dis. 2024 Mar 18. doi: 10.1002/jimd.12726. Online ahead of print.


T cells have been shown to maintain a lower percentage (heteroplasmy) of the pathogenic m.3243A>G variant (MT-TL1, associated with maternally inherited diabetes and deafness [MIDD] and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes [MELAS]). The mechanism(s) underlying this purifying selection, however, remain unknown. Here we report that purified patient memory CD4+ T cells have lower bulk m.3243A>G heteroplasmy compared to naïve CD4+ T cells. In vitro activation of naïve CD4+ m.3243A>G patient T cells results in lower bulk m.3243A>G heteroplasmy after proliferation. Finally, m.3243A>G patient T cell receptor repertoire sequencing reveals relative oligoclonality compared to controls. These data support a role for T cell activation in peripheral, purifying selection against high m.3243A>G heteroplasmy T cells at the level of the cell, in a likely cell-autonomous fashion.

PMID:38499449 | DOI:10.1002/jimd.12726