Mitochondrial Involvement in Mental Disorders: Energy Metabolism and Genetic and Environmental Factors

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1118:63-70. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-05542-4_3.


Mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BD), and schizophrenia (SZ), are generally characterized by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behavior, and relationships with others. Multiple risk factors incorporating genetic and environmental susceptibility are associated with development of these disorders. Mitochondria have a central role in the energy metabolism, and the literature suggests energy metabolism abnormalities are widespread in the brains of subjects with MDD, BPD, and SZ. Numerous studies have shown altered expressions of mitochondria-related genes in these mental disorders. In addition, environmental factors for these disorders, such as stresses, have been suggested to induce mitochondrial abnormalities. Moreover, animal studies have suggested that interactions of altered expression of mitochondria-related genes and environmental factors might be involved in mental disorders. Further investigations into interactions of mitochondrial abnormalities with environmental factors are required to elucidate of the pathogenesis of these mental disorders.

Keywords: Energy metabolism; Environmental factors; Genetic factors; Mental disorders; Mitochondria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bipolar Disorder / metabolism
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / metabolism
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology