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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 10;107(32):14315-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1007562107. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Spatio-temporal oscillations of individual mitochondria in cardiac myocytes reveal modulation of synchronized mitochondrial clusters.

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Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Med. Klinik m. S. Kardiologie, Berlin 13353, Germany.


Mitochondrial networks in cardiac myocytes under oxidative stress show collective (cluster) behavior through synchronization of their inner membrane potentials (DeltaPsi(m)). However, it is unclear whether the oscillation frequency and coupling strength between individual mitochondria affect the size of the cluster and vice versa. We used the wavelet transform and developed advanced signal processing tools that allowed us to capture individual mitochondrial DeltaPsi(m) oscillations in cardiac myocytes and examine their dynamic spatio-temporal properties. Heterogeneous frequency behavior prompted us to sort mitochondria according to their frequencies. Signal analysis of the mitochondrial network showed an inverse relationship between cluster size and cluster frequency as well as between cluster amplitude and cluster size. High cross-correlation coefficients between neighboring mitochondria clustered longitudinally along the myocyte striations, indicated anisotropic communication between mitochondria. Isochronal mapping of the onset of myocyte-wide DeltaPsi(m) depolarization further exemplified heterogeneous DeltaPsi(m) among mitochondria. Taken together, the results suggest that frequency and amplitude modulation of clusters of synchronized mitochondria arises by means of strong changes in local coupling between neighboring mitochondria.

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