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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2004 Aug;36(4):309-12.

The mitochondrial permeability transition as a target for neuroprotection.

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  • 1Dementia Research Service, Burke Medical Research Institute, 785 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, New York 10605, USA.


Mitochondria serve as checkpoints and amplifiers on cell death pathways. In the central nervous system, mitochondrial involvement seems essential for normal expression of cell death phenotypes, and interference with these pathways thus seems a reasonable approach to neuroprotection. We have been involved in examining the potential involvement of the mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) as one of several possible mechanisms by which mitochondria may be drawn into these death cascades. This possibility, though still controversial, is supported by evidence that factors that may stimulate mPT induction are associated with some forms of cell death (e.g., in stroke) and are modulated by diseases of the central nervous system (e.g., Huntington's). Evidence of neuroprotection seen with compounds such as N -Met-Val cyclosporine also support this possibility.

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