Background: Premature birth affects roughly 10% of live births and is associated with long-term increased risk for multiple comorbidities. Although many comorbidities are associated with increased oxidative stress, the potential late impact of extreme premature birth on mitochondrial function has not previously been assessed. We hypothesized that mitochondrial function would be impaired in adult survivors of premature birth. Methods: Mitochondrial function in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from young adults born moderately to extremely preterm was measured using a Seahorse XF Analyzer at baseline and in response to acute oxidative stress, and compared to age-matched term-born adults. Adult pulmonary function was also obtained. Results: Young adults born preterm (average gestational age 29 weeks) had increased mitochondrial oxygen consumption at baseline, particularly with respect to basal and non-ATP-linked respiration. Maximal and spare capacities were also higher, even in response to acute oxidative stress. Lung function was lower in adults born preterm, and the degree of airflow obstruction correlated only modestly with mitochondrial function. Conclusions: In conclusion, adults born preterm have higher basal and non-ATP-linked mitochondrial respiration. Similar mitochondrial profiles have previously been documented in diabetics, and may support the increased risk for cardiometabolic disease in adults born preterm. Impact: Adults born preterm have higher maximal but also higher basal and non-ATP-linked mitochondrial respiration. Similar mitochondrial profiles have previously been documented in diabetics, and may support the increased risk for cardiometabolic disease in adults born preterm.Prior studies demonstrate a link between perinatal mitochondrial function and risk for development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Here, maximal mitochondrial respiration correlates modestly with adult lung function.Peripheral blood mononuclear cell mitochondrial function may be a biomarker of both early lung function and late cardiometabolic risk after preterm birth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health