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.
Monitoring mitochondrial dynamics and complex I dysfunction in neurons: implications for Parkinson's disease
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Eve M. Simcox, Amy Reeve, Doug Turnbull; Monitoring mitochondrial dynamics and complex I dysfunction in neurons: implications for Parkinson's disease. Biochem Soc Trans 1 December 2013; 41 (6): 1618–1624. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20130189
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