Tronstad 2012 Abstract Bioblast

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Nikolaisen J, Nilsson LIH, Hagland HR, Koopman WJ, Tronstad KJ (2012) Mitochondrial morphology and biogenesis in cellular stress. Mitochondr Physiol Network 17.12.

Link: MiPNet17.12 Bioblast 2012 - Open Access

Nikolaisen J, Nilsson LIH, Hagland HR, Koopman WJ, Tronstad KJ (2012)

Event: Bioblast 2012

Karl Johan Tronstad

Mitochondria are major producers of ATP and they are important contributors in cellular processes of adaptation, stress, and survival/death. In this sense they represent centers of crosstalk between metabolism and signaling. Depending on the cellular context, mitochondrial activities are regulated by elements of metabolism/bioenergetics, biomass and structural organization. Although evidence has been provided that mitochondrial shape and function are interconnected, more quantitative single cell studies are required. Within cells, mitochondrial morphology varies from spherical individual organelles to interconnected filamentous networks. Mitochondrial architecture is controlled by fission and fusion processes. Furthermore, recent findings have given new insights into the roles of mitochondrial biogenesis in cellular responses to energy stress, mutations and aging. Clearly, the mechanisms directing mitochondrial biogenesis and function are diverse, and involve multiple key factors regulating essential properties in the viable cell [1,2]. In the present project, we are addressing the roles and mechanisms of mitochondrial participation in cellular adaptation and stress tolerance. A part of this has been to develop a protocol allowing 3D analysis of multiple mitochondrial parameters, and compare this with the data obtained from 2D image analysis [3]. Here we will present a protocol enabling analysis of mitochondrial properties such as number, volume, surface area, sphericity and network related descriptors (e.g. branching points) using z-stacks acquired by standard confocal microscopy. Moreover, we will discuss data showing diverse cellular responses to “mitochondrial boosters”. The metabolic phenotype of a cell, including mitochondrial respiration, may represent an important determinant of stress tolerance. Using new tools to study these phenomena is therefore important in order to learn more about mitochondrial physiology.

  1. Hardie DG (2011) AMP-activated protein kinase: an energy sensor that regulates all aspects of cell function. Genes Dev 25: 1895-1908. Open Access
  2. Hagland H, Nikolaisen J, Hodneland LI, Gjertsen BT, Bruserud Oe, Tronstad KJ (2007) Targeting mitochondria in the treatment of human cancer: a coordinated attack against cancer cell energy metabolism and signalling. Expert Opin Ther Targets 11: 1055-1069.
  3. Koopman WJ, Visch HJ, Smeitink JA, Willems PH (2006) Simultaneous quantitative measurement and automated analysis of mitochondrial morphology, mass, potential, and motility in living human skin fibroblasts. Cytometry A 69: 01-12. Open Access

Cellular stress, Adaptation, Respiration, Image analysis MiPNetLab: NO Bergen Tronstad KJ, NL Nijmegen Koopman WJ

Labels: MiParea: Respiration, mt-Biogenesis;mt-density, mt-Structure;fission;fusion Mammal;model: Human, Rat Tissue;cell: Liver, Endothelial;epithelial;mesothelial cell, Blood cells  Stress: Oxidative stress;RONS Pathology: Cancer Coupling state: OXPHOS HRR: Oxygraph-2k 

Affiliations and author contributions

Nikolaisen J, Hagland HR, Nilsson LIH, Karl Johan Tronstad: Dept of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Email:

Koopman WJ: Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands


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