4 years ago

Mitochondrial bioenergetics decay in aging: beneficial effect of melatonin

Francesca M. Ruggiero, Valeria Paradies, Giuseppe Petrosillo, Giuseppe Paradies


Aging is a biological process characterized by progressive decline in physiological functions, increased oxidative stress, reduced capacity to respond to stresses, and increased risk of contracting age-associated disorders. Mitochondria are referred to as the powerhouse of the cell through their role in the oxidative phosphorylation to generate ATP. These organelles contribute to the aging process, mainly through impairment of electron transport chain activity, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and increased oxidative stress. These events lead to damage to proteins, lipids and mitochondrial DNA. Cardiolipin, a phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane, plays a pivotal role in several mitochondrial bioenergetic processes as well as in mitochondrial-dependent steps of apoptosis and in mitochondrial membrane stability and dynamics. Cardiolipin alterations are associated with mitochondrial bienergetics decline in multiple tissues in a variety of physiopathological conditions, as well as in the aging process. Melatonin, the major product of the pineal gland, is considered an effective protector of mitochondrial bioenergetic function. Melatonin preserves mitochondrial function by preventing cardiolipin oxidation and this may explain, at least in part, the protective role of this compound in mitochondrial physiopathology and aging. Here, mechanisms through which melatonin exerts its protective role against mitochondrial dysfunction associated with aging and age-associated disorders are discussed.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2619-5

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-017-2619-5

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