Association of the mitochondrial DNA 16189 T to C variant with lacunar cerebral infarction: Evidence from a hospital-based case-control study

Chia Wei Liou*, Tsu Kung Lin, Feng Mei Huang, Tzu Ling Chen, Cheng Feng Lee, Yao Chung Chuang, Teng Yeow Tan, Ku Chou Chang, Yau Huei Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

23 Scopus citations


A transition of T to C at nucleotide position 16189 in hypervariable D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has attracted research interest for its probable correlation with increasing insulin resistance and development of diabetes mellitus (DM) in adult life. In this article, we present our observations of the positive relationship between this variant and cerebral infarction. Six hundred and one subjects in two groups - one with cerebral infarction (307 cases), the other with no cerebral infarction (294 cases) - were recruited. Their clinical features, fasting blood sugar and insulin levels, and insulin resistance index, were recorded. Patients with cerebral infarction were further categorized into four different subgroups according to the TOAST criteria for stroke classification. The results showed the occurrence of the mtDNA 16189 variant in 34.2% of patients with cerebral infarction and in 26.5% of normal controls. The difference in the occurrence rates between the two groups was statistically significant (P = 0.041). Further studies of the occurrence rate in each stroke subgroup revealed that the variant occurred at the highest frequency in the small vessel subgroup (41.5%). The difference in occurrence rate between tins subgroup and the normal controls is highly significant (P = 0.006). These results correlated well with the findings of significantly increased levels of average fasting blood insulin and a higher index of average insulin resistance in the small vessel subgroup of patients harboring this mtDNA variant. Taken together, we suggest that the mtDNA 16189 variant is a predisposing genetic factor for the development of insulin resistance and may be related to various phenotypic expressions in adult life such as development of DM and vascular pathologies involved in stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Insulin resistance
  • Lacunar cerebral infarction
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • T16189C polymorphism


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