Impairment of Mitochondrial Respiration in Metabolic Diseases: An Overview

Vlad Florian Avram, Adrian Petru Merce, Iasmina Maria Hâncu, Alina Doruța Bătrân, Gabrielle Kennedy, Mariana Georgeta Rosca, Danina Mirela Muntean

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mitochondrial dysfunction has emerged as a central pathomechanism in the setting of obesity and diabetes mellitus, linking these intertwined pathologies that share insulin resistance as a common denominator. High-resolution respirometry (HRR) is a state-of-the-art research method currently used to study mitochondrial respiration and its impairment in health and disease. Tissue samples, cells or isolated mitochondria are exposed to various substrate-uncoupler-inhibitor-titration protocols, which allows the measurement and calculation of several parameters of mitochondrial respiration. In this review, we discuss the alterations of mitochondrial bioenergetics in the main dysfunctional organs that contribute to the development of the obese and diabetic phenotypes in both animal models and human subjects. Herein we review data regarding the impairment of oxidative phosphorylation as integrated mitochondrial function assessed by means of HRR. We acknowledge the critical role of this method in determining the alterations in oxidative phosphorylation occurring in the early stages of metabolic pathologies. We conclude that there is a mutual two-way relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin insensitivity that characterizes these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8852
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • diabetes mellitus
  • high-resolution respirometry
  • insulin resistance
  • mitochondrial respiration
  • obesity


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