Research Project: Association of Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number with Emphysema Severity and Progression
ACRC Pilot Grant
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a significant global health burden, and the lack of well-characterized biomarkers makes early diagnosis and treatment difficult. COPD pathogenesis and progression are associated with impaired metabolism. Mitochondria are the central hub of cellular metabolism. The healthiness of mitochondria is reflected by mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN). This study will evaluate whether mtDNA-CN can serve as a biomarker to indicate emphysema severity and progression in surrogate tissues of COPD patients. This study will quantify mtDNA-CN in LEEP participants at the first and the 48-week follow-up visits using two quantitative PCR methods. This study will determine the best surrogate biomarker by correlating the changes in mtDNA with COPD severity and progression. Ultimately, the aim is to help clinicians identify at-risk patients earlier, enabling earlier interventions and potentially better outcomes using this rapid, cost-effective and reliable biomarker.