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Dev Neurobiol. 2018 Mar;78(3):221-237. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22546. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

The role of mitochondria in axon development and regeneration.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19140.
2
Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19140.
3
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19140.

Abstract

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo transport, fission, and fusion. The three main functions of mitochondria are to generate ATP, buffer cytosolic calcium, and generate reactive oxygen species. A large body of evidence indicates that mitochondria are either primary targets for neurological disease states and nervous system injury, or are major contributors to the ensuing pathologies. However, the roles of mitochondria in the development and regeneration of axons have just begun to be elucidated. Advances in the understanding of the functional roles of mitochondria in neurons had been largely impeded by insufficient knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial transport, stalling, fission/fusion, and a paucity of approaches to image and analyze mitochondria in living axons at the level of the single mitochondrion. However, technical advances in the imaging and analysis of mitochondria in living neurons and significant insights into the mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial dynamics have allowed the field to advance. Mitochondria have now been attributed important roles in the mechanism of axon extension, regeneration, and axon branching. The availability of new experimental tools is expected to rapidly increase our understanding of the functions of axonal mitochondria during both development and later regenerative attempts.

KEYWORDS:

growth cone; mitochondrion; organelle

PMID:
29030922
PMCID:
PMC5816701
DOI:
10.1002/dneu.22546
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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