Targeting mitochondria for cardiovascular disorders: therapeutic potential and obstacles

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2019 Jan;16(1):33-55. doi: 10.1038/s41569-018-0074-0.


A large body of evidence indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction has a major role in the pathogenesis of multiple cardiovascular disorders. Over the past 2 decades, extraordinary efforts have been focused on the development of agents that specifically target mitochondria for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Despite such an intensive wave of investigation, no drugs specifically conceived to modulate mitochondrial functions are currently available for the clinical management of cardiovascular disease. In this Review, we discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting mitochondria in patients with cardiovascular disease, examine the obstacles that have restrained the development of mitochondria-targeting agents thus far, and identify strategies that might empower the full clinical potential of this approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Agents / adverse effects
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria, Heart / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria, Heart / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Heart / pathology
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / adverse effects
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*


  • Cardiovascular Agents