Optic Nerve Structural and Functional Changes in LHON-Affected and Asymptomatic Maternal Relatives: Association with H and HV Mitochondrial Haplogroups

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 5;24(2):1068. doi: 10.3390/ijms24021068.


Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) affects a minority of carriers of causative mitochondrial DNA mutations. We investigated a cohort of patients with LHON, including m.11778G>A, m.3460G>A, m.14484T>C and DNAJC30 c.152A>G variants, and their asymptomatic maternal carrier relatives for additional potential associations with vision loss. We assessed visual acuity, optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL), visually evoked potential including P-100 latency, and full mitochondrial genome sequencing. Comparison was made with a reference standard for OCT; European Descent, Heidelberg Engineering ©; and electrophysiology measurements with in-house normative ranges. RNFL was thinned overall in LHON patients (n = 12); median global RNFL -54 μm in the right eye (RE) and -50 μm in the left eye (LE) versus normal, and was found to be normal overall in asymptomatic carriers at +1 μm RE and -2 μm LE (n = 16). In four asymptomatic carriers there was RNFL thinning found either unilaterally or bilaterally; these cases were associated with isolated delay in P-100 latency (25%), delay and reduced visual acuity (50%), or reduced visual acuity without P-100 latency delay (25%). Optic nerve dysfunction was associated with mitochondrial haplogroup H and HV, versus non-H haplogroups, in the asymptomatic carriers (Fisher’s exact test, p = 0.05). Our findings suggest that optic nerve abnormalities may be identified in asymptomatic LHON mitochondrial mutation carriers, which may be associated with optic nerve dysfunction. For asymptomatic carriers these findings were associated with mitochondrial haplogroup H and HV.

PMID:36674591 | PMC:PMC9864201 | DOI:10.3390/ijms24021068