There is growing evidence of mitochondrial membrane raft-like microdomains that are involved in the apoptotic pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MβCD), being a well-known lipid microdomain disrupting agent and cholesterol chelator, on the structure and bioenergetics of rat liver mitochondria (RLM). We observed that MβCD decreases the function of RLM, induces changes in the mitochondrial configuration state and decreases the calcium chloride-induced swelling. These data suggest that disruption of mitochondrial raft-like microdomains by cholesterol efflux on one hand impairs mitochondrial bioenergetics, but on the other hand it protects the mitochondria from swelling.
Copyright © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.