Quantitative and structural characteristics of mitochondrial DNA in varicose veins

Mariya A. Smetanina, Igor P. Oscorbin, Alexandra S. Shadrina, Kseniya S. Sevost'ianova, Valeria A. Korolenya, Konstantin A. Gavrilov, Andrey I. Shevela, Arina N. Shirshova, Natalya A. Oskina, Igor A. Zolotukhin, Maxim L. Filipenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We examined quantitative (in terms of mtDNA/nuclear DNA) and structural (in terms of common deletions in the MT-ND4 gene region) characteristics of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in varicose veins (VVs) and venous wall layers by comparing mitochondrial genome parameters, as well as mitochondrial function (in terms of mitochondrial membrane potential (MtMP)), in varicose vein (VV) vs. non-varicose vein (NV) tissue samples. Methods: We analyzed paired great saphenous vein samples (VV vs. NV segments from each patient left after venous surgery) harvested from patients with VVs. Relative mtDNA level and the proportion of no-deletion mtDNA were determined by a multiplex quantitative PCR (qPCR), confirming the latter with a more sensitive method – droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). Mitochondria's functional state in VVs was assessed using fluorescent (dependent on MtMP) live-staining of mitochondria in venous tissues. Results: Total mtDNA level was lower in VV than in NV samples (predominantly in the t. media layer). ddPCR analysis showed lower proportion of no-deletion mtDNA in VVs. Because of the decrease in relative MtMP in VVs, our results suggest a possible reduction of mitochondrial function in VVs. Conclusion: Quantitative and structural changes (copy number and integrity) of mtDNA are plausibly involved in VV pathogenesis. Future clinical studies implementing the mitochondrial targeting may be eventually fostered after auxiliary mechanistic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107021
JournalVascular Pharmacology
Early online date8 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • ddPCR
  • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and deletions
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential
  • qPCR
  • Varicose veins




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