Neuronal mitochondria are receiving a rapidly increasing level of attention. This is to a significant part due to the ability to visualize neuronal mitochondria in novel ways, especially in vivo. Such an approach allows studying neuronal mitochondria in an intact tissue context, during different developmental states and in various genetic backgrounds and disease conditions. Hence, in vivo imaging of mitochondria in the nervous system can reveal aspects of the 'mitochondrial life cycle' in neurons that hitherto have remained obscure or could only be inferred indirectly. In this survey of the current literature, we review the new insights that have emerged from studies using mitochondrial imaging in intact neural preparations ranging from worms to mice.
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