The role of heteroplasmy in the diagnosis and management of maternally inherited diabetes and deafness

Academic Article


  • Objective: Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) is a rare diabetic syndrome mainly caused by a point mutation in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), mt3243 adenine to guanine (A>G). The objective of this paper is to review the genetic inheritance, clinical manifestations, and treatment of patients with MIDD. Methods: The current review used a literature search of scientific papers on this rare syndrome. Results: mtDNA is primarily inherited through the maternal oocyte; therefore, the genetic abnormalities in MIDD are associated with maternal inheritance. Mitochondria contain circular mtDNA, which codes for various mitochondrial genes. The mtDNA can be heteroplasmic, containing more than one type of mtDNA sequence; if one of the mtDNAs contains the mt3243 A>G mutation, a patient may develop MIDD. Patients can inherit different amounts of mutated mtDNA and normal mtDNA that affect the severity of the clinical manifestations of MIDD. The most common clinical manifestations include diabetes mellitus, deafness, ophthalmic disease, cardiac disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal disease, short stature, and myopathies. In order to effectively treat patients with MIDD, it is important to recognize the underlying pathophysiology of this specific form of diabetes and the pathophysiology associated with the organ-specific complications present in this disease. Conclusion: The heteroplasmic inheritance of mutated mtDNA plays an important role in the clinical manifestations of various mitochondrial diseases, specifically MIDD. This review will alert endocrinologists of the signs and symptoms of MIDD and important clinical considerations when managing this disease.
  • Published In

  • Endocrine Practice  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Robinson KN; Terrazas S; Giordano-Mooga S; Xavier NA
  • Start Page

  • 241
  • End Page

  • 246
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 2