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Monitoring mitochondrial dynamics and complex I dysfunction in neurons: implications for Parkinson's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eve Cosgrave, Dr Amy Reeve, Emeritus Professor Doug Turnbull


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Mitochondrial dynamics are essential for maintaining organelle stability and function. Through fission, fusion and mitophagic events, optimal populations of mitochondria are retained. Subsequently, alterations in such processes can have profound effects on the individual mitochondrion and the cell within which they reside. Neurons are post-mitotic energy-dependent cells and, as such, are particularly vulnerable to alterations in cellular bioenergetics and increased stress that may occur as a direct or indirect result of mitochondrial dysfunction. The trafficking of mitochondria to areas of higher energy requirements, such as synapses, where mitochondrial densities fluctuate, further highlights the importance of efficient mitochondrial dynamics in neurons. PD (Parkinson's disease) is a common progressive neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra. Complex I, the largest of all of the components of the electron transport chain is heavily implicated in PD pathogenesis. The exact series of events that lead to cell loss, however, are not fully elucidated, but are likely to involve dysfunction of mitochondria, their trafficking and dynamics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Simcox EM, Reeve A, Turnbull D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemical Society Transactions

Year: 2013

Volume: 41

Issue: 6

Pages: 1618-1624

Print publication date: 01/12/2013

Acceptance date: 21/08/2013

ISSN (print): 0300-5127

ISSN (electronic): 1470-8752

Publisher: Portland Press


DOI: 10.1042/BST20130189


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Funder referenceFunder name
Economic and Social Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Newcastle University Centre for Brain Ageing and Vitality
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
UK NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Age and Age Related Diseases award
G0700718Medical Research Council
G906919Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research
096919/Z/11/ZWellcome Trust