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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1295:75-86. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2550-6_7.

A protocol for the parallel isolation of intact mitochondria from rat liver, kidney, heart, and brain.

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Institute of Molecular Toxicology and Pharmacology, Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, Neuherberg, 85764, Germany.


Mitochondria are key organelles for cellular energy production and cell death decisions. Consequently, a plethora of conditions which are toxic to cells are known to directly attack these organelles. However, mitochondria originating from different tissues differ in their sensitivity to toxic insults. Thus, in order to predict the potential organ-specific toxicity of a given drug or pathological condition at the mitochondrial level, test settings are needed that directly compare the responses and vulnerabilities of mitochondria from different organs. As a prerequisite for such test strategies, we provide here a robust, prompt, and easy-to-follow step-by-step protocol to simultaneously isolate functional and intact mitochondria from rat liver, kidney, heart, and brain. This isolation procedure ensures mitochondrial preparations of comparable purity and reproducible quantities which can be subsequently analyzed for organ-specific mitochondrial toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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