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Respiratory chain deficiency in a female with Aicardi-Goutières syndrome

  • Christine Barnérias (a1), Irina Giurgea (a1), Lucie Hertz-Pannier (a2), Nadia Bahi-Buisson (a1), Nathalie Boddaert (a2), Pierre Rustin (a3), Agnés Rotig (a3), Isabelle Desguerre (a1), Arnold Munnich (a4) and Pascale de Lonlay (a1)...


Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS) is an early-onset progressive encephalopathy characterized by calcifications of the basal ganglia, white matter abnormalities, chronic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lymphocytosis, and/or a raised level of CSF interferon (INF)-α. We report a female with mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiency fulfilling the criteria of AGS. Disease onset was in the first year of age with seizures and psychomotor regression. To date, at 4 years of age, she presents a severe encephalopathy, increased INF-α in the CSF, and calcifications of basal ganglia on computerized tomography. Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging showed bilateral and symmetric hypersignal of the posterior white matter. A complex I deficiency of the mitochondrial respiratory chain was found in skeletal muscle, which was associated with a complex IV deficiency in cultured skin fibroblasts. The question of whether this oxidative phosphorylation deficiency is primary or secondary in AGS is open to debate. We suggest giving consideration to systematic evaluation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in skeletal muscle and skin fibroblasts of other AGS patients.


Corresponding author

Service de Maladies Métaboliques, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, 149, rue de Sèvres 75743 Paris Cedex 15, France. E-mail:


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