Posted on 9 March 2020
Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be emphatically related to aging and age-related issues. However, whether healthy mitochondria could help alleviate and prevent these problems remains unclear.
In a recent study, researchers extracted mitochondria from young mice and injected them into older mice, to try to provide an answer to this question.
Using electron microscopy the team looked at the differences in brain mitochondria between young and old mice. They observed that young mitochondria had intact and well structured cristae, whereas the aged mitochondria exhibited shrinkage, reduction of cristae and poorer structure.
After injection of the young mitochondria into the old mice, they experienced increased rate of mitochondrial activity and reduced levels of oxidative damage, caused by reactive oxygen species.
This improvement of mitochondrial performance not only led to significantly enhanced learning and memory capabilities, but it also reversed the age-related degradation of skeletal muscle function.
However, despite these vast improvements, the abilities of the old mice were not rejuvenated back to the performance of the young control mice.