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The relationship between leukocyte mitochondrial DNA contents and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women

Kim, Jung-Ha MD1; Im, Jee-Aee PhD2; Lee, Duk-Chul MD, PhD3

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31823a3e46
Original Articles

Objective: Menopause is associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome. There is growing evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, which are major components of metabolic syndrome. The purpose of this study was to illuminate the relationship between mitochondrial function using leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

Methods: The present study included 144 postmenopausal women. Women with cardiovascular disease were excluded from the study sample. Anthropometric evaluation and biochemical tests were performed. Leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy numbers were then measured.

Results: The levels of leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number were lower among participants with metabolic syndrome than among those without metabolic syndrome (P < 0.01). As the number of components of metabolic syndrome increased, the concentration of leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number decreased (P = 0.02). Leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number was negatively correlated with waist circumference (r = −0.19, P = 0.03), fasting insulin (r = −0.19, P = 0.03), total cholesterol (r = −0.22, P < 0.01), and triglyceride (r = −0.37, P < 0.01). Leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number was positively associated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (r = 0.94, P = <0.01). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number (odds ratio, 0.030; 95% CI, 0.002-0.437, P = 0.01) was independently associated with metabolic syndrome after adjustment for potential confounding variables including age, body mass index, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, adiponectin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Conclusions: Leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number was independently associated with metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

In this cross-sectional study, leukocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number was independently associated with metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

From the 1Department of Family Medicine, Chung-Ang University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea; 2Sports and Medicine Research Center, INTOTO Inc., Seoul, Korea; and 3Department of Family Medicine, Severance Hospital, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.

Received May 12, 2011; revised and accepted September 26, 2011.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Duk-Chul Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, 250 Seongsanno, Seodaemun-gu, 120-752 Seoul, Korea. E-mail: faith@yuhs.ac

©2012The North American Menopause Society