MOTOR SYSTEMSSingle-cell analysis of mtDNA deletion levels in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosisMawrin, ChristianCA; Kirches, Elmar; Krause, Guido; Wiedemann, Falk R.1; Vorwerk, Christian K.2; Bogerts, Bernhard3; Schildhaus, Hans-Ulrich4; Dietzmann, Knut; Schneider-Stock, Regine4Author Information Departments of Neuropathology, 1Neurology 2Ophthalmology 3Psychiatry 4Pathology; Otto-von-Guericke-University, Leipziger Strasse 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany CACorresponding Author: [email protected] Received 16 December 2003; accepted 30 January 2004 NeuroReport: April 29th, 2004 - Volume 15 - Issue 6 - p 939-943 Buy SDC Abstract One possible cause for the neuronal loss in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (S-ALS) is an increase of free radicals, which may produce oxidative damage to susceptible biomolecules, which, in turn, can damage the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Following laser microdissection of single motor neurons from paraffin-embedded autopsy tissue, we analyzed the presence of a common mtDNA deletion, the 5 kb common deletion (CD). Spinal cord neurons showed slightly higher CD detection rate in patients than controls (94% vs 75%). No significant differences were found between patients and controls for neurons derived from other motor or non-motor regions. A PCR assay of serial DNA dilutions (10-fold) showed no CD level differences between motor neurons in S-ALS and controls. These data suggest that neuronal death in S-ALS is not associated with significant accumulation of mtDNA deletions. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.