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Front Physiol. 2016 Jan 12;6:422. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00422. eCollection 2015.

Mitochondrial Quality Control and Muscle Mass Maintenance.

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Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine Padova, Italy.
Venetian Institute of Molecular MedicinePadova, Italy; Department of Biomedical Science, University of PadovaPadova, Italy; Institute of Neuroscience, Consiglio Nazionale delle RicerchePadova, Italy; Department of Medicine, McGill UniversityMontreal, QC, Canada.


Loss of muscle mass and force occurs in many diseases such as disuse/inactivity, diabetes, cancer, renal, and cardiac failure and in aging-sarcopenia. In these catabolic conditions the mitochondrial content, morphology and function are greatly affected. The changes of mitochondrial network influence the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play an important role in muscle function. Moreover, dysfunctional mitochondria trigger catabolic signaling pathways which feed-forward to the nucleus to promote the activation of muscle atrophy. Exercise, on the other hand, improves mitochondrial function by activating mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy, possibly playing an important part in the beneficial effects of physical activity in several diseases. Optimized mitochondrial function is strictly maintained by the coordinated activation of different mitochondrial quality control pathways. In this review we outline the current knowledge linking mitochondria-dependent signaling pathways to muscle homeostasis in aging and disease and the resulting implications for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to prevent muscle loss.


atrophy; autophagy; biogenesis; fission; fusion; mitochondria; muscle; sarcopenia

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