The brain is one of the most energy-requiring organs in the human body. Mitochondria not only generate this energy, but are centrally involved critical cellular functions including maintenance of calcium homeostasis, synthesis of biomolecules, and cell signaling. Even though neurons and astrocytes preferentially use different energy substrates and metabolic pathways, these two cell types are intricately linked in their energy metabolism. Recently it has become clear that astrocytes have a key role in the regulation and support of the neuronal mitochondrial quality control, yet several questions remain unanswered to fully understand the mechanisms of mitochondrial function, transport, turnover and degradation in astrocytes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, the exact mechanisms of which remain incompletely understood. The fact that astrocytic mitochondrial dysfunction is an early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease suggests that more research on mitochondrial function and impairment is required in the hopes of disease alleviation in the future.
Part of the book: Astrocyte