Role of mitochondria in neuronal apoptosis
Gorman, Adrienne M.
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Gorman, A. M., Ceccatelli, S., & Orrenius, S. (2000). Role of Mitochondria in Neuronal Apoptosis. Developmental Neuroscience, 22(5-6), 348-358. DOI:10.1159/000017460
Apoptosis is a controlled form of cell death that participates in the demise of neuronal cells during development, neurodegenerative disorders and exposure to neurotoxic agents. In recent years, the mitochondria have emerged as being pivotal in controlling apoptosis. They house a number of apoptogenic molecules that are released into the cytoplasm at the onset of apoptosis. These include cytochrome c, apoptosis-inducing factor and various caspases. Mitochondria also play an important role in intracellular Ca2+ regulation, which is crucial to excitotoxic neurodegeneration. Alterations in energy (ATP) production by mitochondria (due to hypoxia or mutations in genes encoding mitochondrial proteins of the electron transport chain) can induce apoptosis in neurons or increase their sensitivity to apoptosis.