Mitochondrial point mutation m.3243A > G associates with lower bone mineral density, thinner cortices and reduced bone strength: A case-control study

Jakob Høgild Langdahl, Anja Lisbeth Frederiksen, Stinus Jørn Hansen, Per Heden Andersen, Knud Bonnet Yderstraede, Morten Dunø, John Vissing, Morten Frost

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

134 Downloads (Pure)


Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with several clinical manifestations including diabetes, neurological disorders, renal and hepatic diseases and myopathy. While mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation in mouse models, effects of alterations in mitochondrial function on bone remodelling and mass have not been investigated in humans. We recruited 45 carriers (29 females, 16 males) with the m.3243A > G mutation and healthy controls matched for gender, age, height and menopausal status. DXA and HRpQCT scans were performed, and bone turnover markers (BTM) P1NP and CTX were measured. Cases and controls were well matched except for body weight, which was lower in cases (63.6 kg ± 18.1 vs. 74.6 kg ± 14.8, p < 0.01), and manifest diabetes was present in 25 of 45 cases (none in controls). Bone scans showed lower BMD at the lumbar spine, total hip and femoral neck in cases. Mean lumbar spine, total hip and femoral neck T-scores were -1.5, -1.3 and -1.6 in cases, respectively, and -0.8, -0.3 and -0.7 in controls (all p < 0.05). The m.3243A > G mutation was associated with lower bone mineral density, cortical but not trabecular density, cortical thickness, and estimated bone strength. Furthermore, BTMs were lower in the m.3243A > G group before but not after adjustment for diabetes. The mitochondrial point mutation m.3243A > G was associated with decreased bone mass and strength. Although the coexistence of diabetes may have influenced bone turnover, the bone phenotype observed in m.3243A > G cases appeared to mirror age-related deterioration in bone, suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction may cause a premature ageing of bone. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2041–2048
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Journal Article
  • M.3243A>G
  • Bone Density
  • Diabetes Mellitus/genetics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Cortical Bone/diagnostic imaging
  • Point Mutation/genetics
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Biomarkers/metabolism
  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Mitochondria/genetics
  • Female
  • Bone Remodeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Mitochondrial point mutation m.3243A > G associates with lower bone mineral density, thinner cortices and reduced bone strength: A case-control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this