High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a hypoxia-induced non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema that typically occurred in un-acclimatized lowlanders, which inevitably leads to life-threatening consequences. Apart from multiple factors involved, the genetic factors also play an important role in the pathogenesis of HAPE. So far, researchers have put more energy into the nuclear genome and HAPE, and ignored the relationship between the mitochondrion DNA (mtDNA) variants and HAPE susceptibility.
We recruited a total of 366 individuals including 181 HAPE patients and 185 non-HAPE populations through two times. The first time, 49 HAPE patients and 58 non-HAPE individuals were performed through whole mtDNA sequences to search the mutations and haplogroups. The second time, 132 HAPE patients and 127 non-HAPE subjects were collected to apply verifying these mutations and haplogroups of mtDNA with the routine PCR method.
We analyzed and summarized the clinical characteristics and sequence data for the 49 HAPE patients and 58 non-HAPE individuals. We found that a series of routine blood indexes including systolic arterial blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR), white blood cell (WBC), and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the HAPE group presented higher and displayed significant differences compared with those in the non-HAPE group. Although the average numbers of variants in different region and group samples were not statistically significant (P > 0.05), the mutation densities of different regions in the internal group showed significant differences. Then we found two mutations (T16172C and T16519C) associated with the HAPE susceptibility, the T16172C mutation increased the risk of HAPE, and the T16519C mutation decreased the HAPE rating. Furthermore, the two mutations were demonstrated with 132 HAPE patients and 127 non-HAPE individuals. Unfortunately, all the haplogroups were not associated with the HAPE haplogroups.
We provided evidence of differences in mtDNA polymorphism frequencies between HAPE and non-HAPE Han Chinese. Genotypes of mtDNA 16172C and 16519C were correlated with HAPE susceptibility, indicating the role of the mitochondrial genome in the pathogenesis of HAPE.

© 2022. The Author(s).