The role of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

Xinglong Wang, Bo Su, Ling Zheng, George Perry, Mark A. Smith, Xiongwei Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Mitochondria play critical roles in neuronal function and almost all aspects of mitochondrial function are altered in Alzheimer neurons. Emerging evidence shows that mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo continuous fission and fusion, the balance of which not only controls mitochondrial morphology and number, but also regulates mitochondrial function and distribution. In this review, after a brief overview of the basic mechanisms involved in the regulation of mitochondrial fission and fusion and how mitochondrial dynamics affects mitochondrial function, we will discuss in detail our and others' recent work demonstrating abnormal mitochondrial morphology and distribution in Alzheimer's disease (AD) models and how these abnormalities may contribute to mitochondrial and synaptic dysfunction in AD. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics plays a key role in causing the dysfunction of mitochondria that ultimately damage AD neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • DLP1
  • Mitochondrial distribution
  • Mitochondrial dynamics
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Synaptic dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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