Mitochondrial Transport and Turnover in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

TitleMitochondrial Transport and Turnover in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGranatiero V, Manfredi G
JournalBiology (Basel)
Date Published2019 May 11

Neurons are high-energy consuming cells, heavily dependent on mitochondria for ATP generation and calcium buffering. These mitochondrial functions are particularly critical at specific cellular sites, where ionic currents impose a large energetic burden, such as at synapses. The highly polarized nature of neurons, with extremely large axoplasm relative to the cell body, requires mitochondria to be efficiently transported along microtubules to reach distant sites. Furthermore, neurons are post-mitotic cells that need to maintain pools of healthy mitochondria throughout their lifespan. Hence, mitochondrial transport and turnover are essential processes for neuronal survival and function. In neurodegenerative diseases, the maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial network is often compromised. Numerous lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial impairment contributes to neuronal demise in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), where degeneration of motor neurons causes a fatal muscle paralysis. Dysfunctional mitochondria accumulate in motor neurons affected by genetic or sporadic forms of ALS, strongly suggesting that the inability to maintain a healthy pool of mitochondria plays a pathophysiological role in the disease. This article critically reviews current hypotheses on mitochondrial involvement in the pathogenesis of ALS, focusing on the alterations of mitochondrial axonal transport and turnover in motor neurons.

Alternate JournalBiology (Basel)
PubMed ID31083575
Grant ListR01NS062055 / / National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke /