Association of urine mitochondrial DNA with clinical measures of COPD in the SPIROMICS cohort

William Z. Zhang, Michelle C. Rice, Katherine L. Hoffman, Clara Oromendia, Igor Z. Barjaktarevic, J. Michael Wells, Annette T. Hastie, Wassim W. Labaki, Christopher B. Cooper, Alejandro P. Comellas, Gerard J. Criner, Jerry A. Krishnan, Robert Paine, Nadia N. Hansel, Russell P. Bowler, R. Graham Barr, Stephen P. Peters, Prescott G. Woodruff, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Meilan K. HanKarla V. Ballman, Fernando J. Martinez, Augustine M.K. Choi, Kiichi Nakahira, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Mary E. Choi

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30 Scopus citations


BACKGROUNDMitochondrial dysfunction, a proposed mechanism of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pathogenesis, is associated with the leakage of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which may be detected extracellularly in various bodily fluids. Despite evidence for the increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease in COPD subjects and for mitochondrial dysfunction in the kidneys of murine COPD models, whether urine mtDNA (u-mtDNA) associates with measures of disease severity in COPD is unknown.METHODSCell-free u-mtDNA, defined as copy number of mitochondrially encoded NADH dehydrogenase-1 (MTND1) gene, was measured by quantitative PCR and normalized to urine creatinine in cell-free urine samples from participants in the Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS) cohort. Urine albumin/creatinine ratios (UACR) were measured in the same samples. Associations between u-mtDNA, UACR, and clinical disease parameters - including FEV1 % predicted, clinical measures of exercise tolerance, respiratory symptom burden, and chest CT measures of lung structure - were examined.RESULTSU-mtDNA and UACR levels were measured in never smokers (n = 64), smokers without airflow obstruction (n = 109), participants with mild/moderate COPD (n = 142), and participants with severe COPD (n = 168). U-mtDNA was associated with increased respiratory symptom burden, especially among smokers without COPD. Significant sex differences in u-mtDNA levels were observed, with females having higher u-mtDNA levels across all study subgroups. U-mtDNA associated with worse spirometry and CT emphysema in males only and with worse respiratory symptoms in females only. Similar associations were not found with UACR.CONCLUSIONU-mtDNA levels may help to identify distinct clinical phenotypes and underlying pathobiological differences in males versus females with COPD.TRIAL REGISTRATIONThis study has been registered at ( NCT01969344).FUNDINGUS NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, supplemented by contributions made through the Foundation for the NIH and the COPD Foundation from AstraZeneca/MedImmune, Bayer, Bellerophon Therapeutics, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A., Forest Research Institute Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Grifols Therapeutics Inc., Ikaria Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Nycomed GmbH, ProterixBio, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sanofi, Sunovion, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and Theravance Biopharma and Mylan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere133984
JournalJCI insight
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 13 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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