Abnormal Mitochondrial Dynamics As a Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease


9 to 10 a.m., Oct. 25, 2023


Professor, Department of Pathology & Neurology, School of Medicine

Director, Molecular and Cellular Basis for Disease Training Program, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine


Xiongwei Zhu, PhD


Abstract: Multiple lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Recent studies demonstrated that mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles characterized by a delicate balance of fission and fusion, a concept that has revolutionized our basic understanding of the regulation of mitochondrial structure and function which has far-reaching significance in studies of health and disease. We found significant changes in the expression of mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins in AD brain. Both in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mitochondrial dynamics was tipped towards fission and resulted in mitochondrial fission as well as abnormal mitochondrial distribution in AD models which likely contributes to mitochondrial and synaptic dysfunction in AD. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics plays a key role in causing the dysfunction of mitochondria that ultimately damage AD neurons. Therefore, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics may be an attractive therapeutic intervention target for AD.


Mel Wohlgemuth
Department of Neuroscience, School of Mind, Brain and Behavior
Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience


Xiongwei Zhu, PhD
Professor, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University