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Mitochondria in the Brain (Sesaki Lab)

Mitochondria play crucial roles in diverse cellular and physiological processes such as energy production, metabolism, intracellular signaling, cell death, development, and immune response. In these functions, mitochondria serve as a bioenergetic power plant and a dynamic signaling hub. It has become increasingly clear that these mitochondrial functions are important for human health, and defects in these processes lead to pathological consequences such as metabolic diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, to maintain mitochondrial, cellular, and physiological health, controlling mitochondrial function and quality is essential. During the last two decades, we have demonstrated that mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles, and their dynamic behaviors are central to the maintenance of the functional competence and quality of the mitochondria.

In this image, mitochondria (green) in cerebellar Purkinje neurons (red) are shown.