Because NMDA complex and mitochondrial function are related, we hypothesized memantine would influence mitochondrial function. We addressed this in vitro by studying the effects of chronic and acute memantine exposures on mitochondrial function. For acute exposure experiments, mitochondria were isolated from NT2 cells and assayed for electron transport chain (ETC) enzyme function and peroxide production in buffers containing up to 60uM memantine. For chronic exposure experiments, NT2 cells were maintained for at least two weeks in medium containing up to 60uM memantine, following which we assayed cells or their mitochondria for ETC enzyme activities, cytochrome oxidase protein levels, oxidative stress, calcium levels, and mitochondrial DNA levels. The ability of the NMDA receptor antagonist aminophosphonovaleric acid (APV) to modify memantine's mitochondrial effects was evaluated. Acute and chronic memantine similarly affected complex I (increased at high concentrations) and IV (decreased at high concentrations) V(max) activities. APV did not alter the effects of chronic memantine exposure on citrate synthase and complex IV. We detected a lower mitochondrial peroxide production rate with acute exposure, and an increased mitochondrial peroxide production rate with chronic exposure. Micromolar memantine concentrations affect mitochondria, some of these effects are directly mediated, and acute and chronic effects may differ.