Mitochondria are morphologically dynamic organelles constantly undergoing processes of fission and fusion that maintain integrity and bioenergetics of the organelle: these processes are vital for cell survival. Disruption in the balance of mitochondrial fusion and fission is thought to play a role in several pathological conditions including ischemic heart disease. Proteins involved in regulating the processes of mitochondrial fusion and fission are therefore potential targets for pharmacological therapies. Mdivi-1 is a small molecule inhibitor of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1. Inhibiting mitochondrial fission with Mdivi-1 has proven cytoprotective benefits in several cell types involved in a wide array of cardiovascular injury models. On the other hand, Mdivi-1 can also exert antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects, particularly in hyperproliferative cells. In this review, we discuss these divergent effects of Mdivi-1 on cell survival, as well as the potential and limitations of Mdivi-1 as a therapeutic agent.
Keywords: Cell death; Mdivi‐1; mitochondrial fission; mitochondrial fusion.