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Rui Simoes. Picture.

Rui Simoes

Rui Simöes, Guest researcher

Rui Simoes. Picture.

Intracellular and Intercellular Mitochondrial Dynamics in Parkinson's Disease


  • Dario Valdinocci
  • Rui F Simões
  • Jaromira Kovarova
  • Teresa Cunha-Oliveira
  • Jiri Neuzil
  • Dean L Pountney

Summary, in English

The appearance of alpha-synuclein-positive inclusion bodies (Lewy bodies) and the loss of catecholaminergic neurons are the primary pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the dysfunction of mitochondria has long been recognized as a key component in the progression of the disease. Dysfunctional mitochondria can in turn lead to dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and, especially in dopaminergic neurons, raised mean intracellular calcium concentration. As calcium binding to alpha-synuclein is one of the important triggers of alpha-synuclein aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction will promote inclusion body formation and disease progression. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting from inefficiencies in the electron transport chain also contribute to the formation of alpha-synuclein aggregates and neuronal loss. Recent studies have also highlighted defects in mitochondrial clearance that lead to the accumulation of depolarized mitochondria. Transaxonal and intracytoplasmic translocation of mitochondria along the microtubule cytoskeleton may also be affected in diseased neurons. Furthermore, nanotube-mediated intercellular transfer of mitochondria has recently been reported between different cell types and may have relevance to the spread of PD pathology between adjacent brain regions. In the current review, the contributions of both intracellular and intercellular mitochondrial dynamics to the etiology of PD will be discussed.

Publishing year







Frontiers in Neuroscience



Document type

Journal article review


Frontiers Media S. A.




  • ISSN: 1662-4548