Blood-based bioenergetic profiling has promising applications as a minimally invasive biomarker of systemic bioenergetic capacity. In the present study, we examined peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) mitochondrial function and brain morphology in a cohort of African Americans with long-standing Type 2 diabetes. Key parameters of PBMC respiration were correlated with white matter, gray matter, and total intracranial volumes. Our analyses indicate that these relationships are primarily driven by the relationship of systemic bioenergetic capacity with total intracranial volume, suggesting that systemic differences in mitochondrial function may play a role in overall brain morphology.
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