Mitochondrial Transport in Neurons: Impact on Synaptic Homeostasis and Neurodegeneration

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Jan 5;13(2):77-93. doi: 10.1038/nrn3156.


Mitochondria have a number of essential roles in neuronal function. Their complex mobility patterns within neurons are characterized by frequent changes in direction. Mobile mitochondria can become stationary or pause in regions that have a high metabolic demand and can move again rapidly in response to physiological changes. Defects in mitochondrial transport are implicated in the pathogenesis of several major neurological disorders. Research into the mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial transport is thus an important emerging frontier.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / etiology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology*
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Synapses / pathology
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Calcium