A method for measuring mitochondrial mass and activity
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Mitochondria, responsible for the energy-generating process essential for the cell metabolism, differ for the number, localization and activity in animal cells and tissues in relation to the energetic needs. Using fluorescent probes specific for mitochondria, Mitotracker Green (MTG) and Orange (MTO), and Confocal Laser-Scanning Microscope (CLSM), we elaborated a method to measure in vivo the mitochondrial mass and activity, in sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus eggs and embryos. The analysis of captured images, revealed a variation of mitochondrial distribution and an increase of activity after fertilization.