Fatal neonatal-onset mitochondrial respiratory chain disease with T cell immunodeficiency.

Abstract:

We present the clinical and laboratory features of a boy with a new syndrome of mitochondrial depletion syndrome and T cell immunodeficiency. The child suffered from severe recurrent infectious diseases, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Clinically, he presented with severe psychomotor retardation, axial hypotonia, and a disturbed pain perception leading to debilitating biting of the thumb, lower lip, and tongue. Brain imaging showed hypoplasia of corpus callosum and an impaired myelinization of the temporo-occipital region with consecutive supratentorial hydrocephalus. Histologic examination of a skeletal muscle biopsy was normal. Biochemical investigation showed combined deficiency of respiratory chain complexes II+III and IV. MtDNA depletion was found by real-time PCR. No pathogenic mutations were identified in the TK2, SUCLA2, DGUOK, and ECGF1 genes. A heterozygous missense mutation was found in POLG1. The pathogenic relevance of this mutation is unclear. Interestingly, a lack of CD8(+) T lymphocytes as well as NK cells was also observed. The percentage of CD45RO-expressing cells was decreased in activated CD8(+) T lymphocytes. Activation of T lymphocytes via IL-2 was diminished. The occurrence of the immunologic deficiency in our patient with mtDNA depletion is a rare finding, implying that cells of the immune system might also be affected by mitochondrial disease.

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