Exploring Molecular Targets for Mitochondrial Therapies in Neurodegenerative Diseases




Plascencia-Villa, Germán
Perry, George

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The progressive deterioration of function and structure of brain cells in neurodegenerative diseases is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction, affecting cellular metabolism, intracellular signaling, cell differentiation, morphogenesis, and the activation of programmed cell death. However, most of the efforts to develop therapies for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease have focused on restoring or maintaining the neurotransmitters in affected neurons, removing abnormal protein aggregates through immunotherapies, or simply treating symptomatology. However, none of these approaches to treating neurodegeneration can stop or reverse the disease other than by helping to maintain mental function and manage behavioral symptoms. Here, we discuss alternative molecular targets for neurodegeneration treatments that focus on mitochondrial functions, including regulation of calcium ion (Ca2+) transport, protein modification, regulation of glucose metabolism, antioxidants, metal chelators, vitamin supplementation, and mitochondrial transference to compromised neurons. After pre-clinical evaluation and studies in animal models, some of these therapeutic compounds have advanced to clinical trials and are expected to have positive outcomes in subjects with neurodegeneration. These mitochondria-targeted therapeutic agents are an alternative to established or conventional molecular targets that have shown limited effectiveness in treating neurodegenerative diseases.




International Journal of Molecular Sciences 24 (15): 12486 (2023)


Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology