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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002 Mar;126(3):271-80.

Mitochondrial DNA--related mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.

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Center for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Department of Neurology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in several late-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Determining its origin and significance may provide insight into the pathogeneses of these disorders. Regarding origin, one hypothesis proposes mitochondrial dysfunction is driven by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) aberration. This hypothesis is primarily supported by data from studies of cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) cell lines, which facilitate the study of mitochondrial genotype-phenotype relationships. In cybrid cell lines in which mtDNA from persons with certain neurodegenerative diseases is assessed, mitochondrial physiology is altered in ways that are potentially relevant to programmed cell death pathways. Connecting mtDNA-related mitochondrial dysfunction with programmed cell death underscores the crucial if not central role for these organelles in neurodegenerative pathophysiology. This review discusses the cybrid technique and summarizes cybrid data implicating mtDNA-related mitochondrial dysfunction in certain neurodegenerative diseases.

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