The 4977 bp deletion in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is known to accumulate with age in various human tissues. Findings regarding its accumulation in blood, however, have so far been contradictory. We investigated the levels of the 4977 bp deletion in mtDNA from 100 intravital and postmortem blood samples. Applying an improved version of a PCR plus silver staining of polyacrylamide gels, we could detect the 4977 bp deletion in blood of healthy individuals over 20 years of age. While the 4977 bp deletion in blood is subject to a certain age dependence, it appears to be influenced by additional factors. A Primer-Shift-Assay amplifying four different deletion-specific fragments showed that the smaller fragments were amplified with a higher amplification efficiency than the larger fragments. The deletion-specific 389 bp fragment was demonstrated in 73% of individuals over 80 years of age, but in only 46% of individuals between 21 and 30 years old whereas the largest 802 bp deletion-specific fragment was detectable in 38% of subjects over 80 years of age, and in only 15% of individuals under 30 years of age. Deletion-specific fragments were not detected in a single individual under 20 years old, nor in fetal blood. In this work, we demonstrate for the first time the detection of 4977 bp specific fragments in blood of healthy individuals without the necessity of using a nested PCR. The deletion is detectable in postmortal and intravital blood, so that the occurrence of the 4977 bp deletion seems to be a physiological and not only a postmortal process. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
|Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
|Number of pages
|Published - 03.12.1998