EXTRACELLULAR MITOCHONDRIA

EXTRACELLULAR MITOCHONDRIA

Historically, mitochondria have been thought of as exclusively membrane-bound cell organelles that generate chemical energy needed to power the cell's biochemical reactions. The term mitochondrionwas coined by Carl Benda in 1898. The mitochondrion is popularly nicknamed the "powerhouse of the cell", a phrase coined by Philip Siekevitz in 1957. Chemical energy produced by mitochondria is stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

New research, however, has found evidence of “mitochondria content” outside of cells. This content exists “as free mtDNA, functional mitochondria or within extracellular vesicles (EVs)”, where it could participate in the etiology of diseases[2] such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Within cells there are ‘quality controls’ that destroy and dispose of damaged or dysfunctional mitochondria that are known tocause cellular damage through reactive oxygen species ROS production. Mitochondrial content that is transferred via EVs is a known phenomena.  A transfer of mtDNA has ‘rescued” metabolic activity of recipient cells.

Extracellular mitochondria have been found in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. What is not clear, though, is whether free mitochondria have always existed or whether they migrate from cells.

Further reading: https://www.ergopathics.com/blogs/news/exercise-mitochondrial-metabolism-skin-aging

  

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