Astrocyte Mitochondria in White-Matter Injury

Hung Nguyen, Sarah Zerimech, Selva Baltan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This review summarizes the diverse structure and function of astrocytes to describe the bioenergetic versatility required of astrocytes that are situated at different locations. The intercellular domain of astrocyte mitochondria defines their roles in supporting and regulating astrocyte-neuron coupling and survival against ischemia. The heterogeneity of astrocyte mitochondria, and how subpopulations of astrocyte mitochondria adapt to interact with other glia and regulate axon function, require further investigation. It has become clear that mitochondrial permeability transition pores play a key role in a wide variety of human diseases, whose common pathology may be based on mitochondrial dysfunction triggered by Ca2+ and potentiated by oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species cause axonal degeneration and a reduction in axonal transport, leading to axonal dystrophies and neurodegeneration including Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Developing new tools to allow better investigation of mitochondrial structure and function in astrocytes, and techniques to specifically target astrocyte mitochondria, can help to unravel the role of mitochondrial health and dysfunction in a more inclusive context outside of neuronal cells. Overall, this review will assess the value of astrocyte mitochondria as a therapeutic target to mitigate acute and chronic injury in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2696-2714
Number of pages19
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Astroglial interactions
  • Axonal degeneration
  • Glial cells
  • Mitochondrial dynamics
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neurovascular injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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