Mitochondrial genetics cooperate with nuclear genetics to selectively alter immune cell development/trafficking

Academic Article


  • The nuclear genome drives differences in immune cell populations and differentiation potentials, in part regulated by changes in metabolism. Despite this connection, the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms (SNP) in this process has not been examined. Using mitochondrial nuclear exchange (MNX) mice, we and others have shown that mtDNA strongly influences varying aspects of cell biology and disease. Based upon an established connection between mitochondria and immune cell polarization, we hypothesized that mtDNA SNP alter immune cell development, trafficking, and/or differentiation. Innate and adaptive immune cell populations were isolated and characterizated from the peritoneum and spleen. While most differences between mouse strains are regulated by nuclear DNA (nDNA), there are selective changes that are mediated by mtDNA differences (e.g., macrophage (CD11c) differentiation), These findings highlight how nuclear-mitochondrial crosstalk may alter pathology and physiology via regulation of specific components of the immune system.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Beadnell TC; Fain C; Vivian CJ; King JCG; Hastings R; Markiewicz MA; Welch DR
  • Volume

  • 1866
  • Issue

  • 5