Imaging axonal transport of mitochondria

Methods Enzymol. 2009;457:319-33. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(09)05018-6.


Neuronal mitochondria need to be transported and distributed in axons and dendrites in order to ensure an adequate energy supply and provide sufficient Ca(2+) buffering in each portion of these highly extended cells. Errors in mitochondrial transport are implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. Here we present useful tools to analyze axonal transport of mitochondria both in vitro in cultured rat neurons and in vivo in Drosophila larval neurons. These methods enable investigators to take advantage of both systems to study the properties of mitochondrial motility under normal or pathological conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Rats