Mitochondrial dynamics: An emerging paradigm in ischemia-reperfusion injury

Lesley Calo, Yi Dong, Rita Kumar, Karin Przyklenk, Thomas H. Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Cardiomyocytes and neurons are highly susceptible to ischemia-reperfusion injury; accordingly, considerable effort has been devoted to elucidating the cellular mechanisms responsible for ischemia-reperfusion-induced cell death and developing novel strategies to minimize ischemia-reperfusion injury. Maintenance of mitochondrial integrity is, without question, a critical determinant of cell fate. However, there is emerging evidence of a novel and intriguing extension to this paradigm: mitochondrial dynamics (that is, changes in mitochondrial morphology achieved by fission and fusion) may play an important but as-yet poorly understood role as a determinant of cell viability. Focusing on heart and brain, our aims in this review are to provide a synopsis of the molecular mechanisms of fission and fusion, summarize our current understanding of the complex relationships between mitochondrial dynamics and the pathogenesis of ischemia-reperfusion injury, and speculate on the possibility that targeted manipulation of mitochondrial dynamics may be exploited for the design of novel therapeutic strategies for cardio- and neuroprotection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6848-6857
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number39
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Infarction
  • Ischemia
  • Mitochondrial fission
  • Mitochondrial fusion
  • Reperfusion injury


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