Human Genetics

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 161–173 | Cite as

Mitochondrial DNA and inflammatory diseases

  • Germaine Escames
  • Luis Carlos López
  • José Antonio García
  • Laura García-Corzo
  • Francisco Ortiz
  • Darío Acuña-CastroviejoEmail author
Review Paper


Increasing experimental evidence supports a connection between inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. Both acute and chronic inflammatory diseases course with elevated free radicals production that may affect mitochondrial proteins, lipids, and mtDNA. The subsequent mitochondrial impairment produces more reactive oxygen species that further reduce the ATP generation, increasing the probability of cell death. Mitochondrial impairment in now considered a key factor in inflammation because (1) there are specific pathologies directly derived from mtDNA mutations, causing chronic inflammatory diseases such as neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, (2) there are neurodegenerative, metabolic, and other inflammatory diseases in which their progression is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction, which is directly involved in the cell death. Recently, a direct implication of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and, particularly, mtDNA in the innate immune response has been reported. Thus, the mitochondria should be considered targets for new therapies related to the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, including the auto-inflammatory ones.


Melatonin Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore NLRP3 Inflammasome Inflammasome Activation NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was partially supported by grants from the Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant Programme (COQMITMEL-266691) within the 7th European Community Framework Programme, from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain (RD06/0013/0008, PI08-1664), from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain (SAF200908315) and from the Consejería de Economía, Innovación y Ciencia, Junta de Andalucía (P10-CTS-6133, P07-CTS-03135 and CTS-101).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Germaine Escames
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luis Carlos López
    • 1
    • 2
  • José Antonio García
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura García-Corzo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francisco Ortiz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Darío Acuña-Castroviejo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Biotecnología, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, Parque Tecnológico de Ciencias de la SaludUniversidad de GranadaArmillaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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