Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Neuronal Injury
Annual rept. 1 Sep 2001-31 Aug 2002
PITTSBURGH UNIV PA
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This project is focused on understanding the mechanisms of neuronal injury in acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, we are interested in the role that mitochondria play in both the maintenance of neuronal viability and in the execution of neurons following injurious stimuli. Our prior studies have shown that mitochondria are an essential target for calcium overload in excitotoxic neuronal injury. In the experiments described here we are pursuing the study of mitochondria in neurons in additional ways. We are developing a model of neuronal injury in an organotypic slice preparation that should provide insights into mitochondrial events in doparninergic neurons. We hope that this will allow the study of mitochondrial physiology in neurons that are selectively vulnerable in Parkinsons disease. In addition, we are investigating the properties of mitochondrial trafficking in neurons, which, together with an in situ study of mitochondrial DNA replication, will start to provide an unprecedented insight into mitochondrial biogenesis, movement and turnover. We believe that an understanding of the long-term properties of mitochondria in neurons will provide information that is critical to the full appreciation of the mechanisms of neuronal injury in chronic neurodegenerative disease.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology