Mitochondrial dysfunction in aging

Ageing Res Rev. 2023 Jul:88:101955. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2023.101955. Epub 2023 May 15.


Aging is a complex process that features a functional decline in many organelles. Although mitochondrial dysfunction is suggested as one of the determining factors of aging, the role of mitochondrial quality control (MQC) in aging is still poorly understood. A growing body of evidence points out that reactive oxygen species (ROS) stimulates mitochondrial dynamic changes and accelerates the accumulation of oxidized by-products through mitochondrial proteases and mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). Mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs) are the frontline of MQC to dispose of oxidized derivatives. Besides, mitophagy helps remove partially damaged mitochondria to ensure that mitochondria are healthy and functional. Although abundant interventions on MQC have been explored, over-activation or inhibition of any type of MQC may even accelerate abnormal energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction-induced senescence. This review summarizes mechanisms essential for maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis and emphasizes that imbalanced MQC may accelerate cellular senescence and aging. Thus, appropriate interventions on MQC may delay the aging process and extend lifespan.

Keywords: Aging; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitochondrial quality control; Reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging* / metabolism
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species