Benard G, Bezard E, Marsicano G, Pouvreau S. in Neurobiol Dis.
MitoBrain, Putting energy into the brain.
MitoBrain, Putting energy into the brain. Benard G, Bezard E, Marsicano G, Pouvreau S. Neurobiol Dis. 2016 Jun;90:1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2016.03.021.
The MitoBrain meeting, which was held in Bordeaux on October 1-3 2014, brought together worldwide experts on the different aspects of mitochondrial physiology and pathology in the brain. The special issue of Neurobiology of Disease covers some of the main topics that have been discussed in this meeting, from the molecular players of mitochondrial movement and fission/fusion process, to more integrative aspects such as the involvement of mitochondria in neuronal network oscillations.
Sandrine Pouvreau: Requiring large energy supply to accomplish its complex functions, the brain heavily relies on oxidative metabolism. It is then no surprise that the study of mitochondria, the main energy provider of the body, is becoming a very active area of Neuroscience.
However, mitochondria are way more than this cliché picture of a bean shaped power plant for the cell. Life as a mitochondrion is incredibly complicated. Indeed, mitochondria come in different sizes and shapes, and can even fuse together or split. They move in the cell like little wagons on a train rack to reach the subcellular compartment where they are required, or where they will be destroyed once degraded. They interact with other organelles. They produce energy but also reactive oxygen species, they buffer calcium…, which makes them key players in the integration of information in the neuronal network.
All these aspects can be impaired, leading to pathologies known as mitochondrial disorders. The brain, together with the muscle, is one of the most affected organs in those pathologies, and mitochondrial deficiency has been shown to be involved in neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, autism, schizophrenia and many others.
Sandrine Pouvreau est Chargé de Recherche dans l’équipe de Christophe Mulle : Physiology of Glutamatergic Synapses à l’IINS