Mitochondrial Adaptation and Hibernation

  • Jonathan Grip
  • Nicolas Tardif
  • Olav RooyackersEmail author


Stress in the form of critical illness and organ failure is associated with damaged and dysfunctional mitochondria. However, actual function of mitochondria in sepsis and their role in the development of organ failure are not fully characterized, partly due to the heterogeneity of the disease, variation and difficulties in methods for studying mitochondrial function, and the problem that available animal model does not seem to represent the human situation very well. On the other hand, it seems that the mitochondrial dysfunction is accompanied by decreased metabolic demands or oxygen consumption, and it has therefore been hypothesized that a mitochondrial downregulation and hypometabolism are adaptive responses in order for the organ to survive the stressful event, similar to hibernation seen in some animals. Even though this theory is interesting and there is support for decreased metabolism in critical illness, the response does not mimic the regulatory mechanism seen in “true” hibernation that, e.g., is accompanied with a drop in body temperature. We look forward to further studies that may lead to a stronger rationale for, or disproves, the theories of metabolic downregulation in critical illness-related organ failure.


Organ Failure Mitochondrial Function Critical Illness Mitochondrial Respiration Mitochondrial Biogenesis 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Grip
    • 1
  • Nicolas Tardif
    • 1
  • Olav Rooyackers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive CareKarolinska University Hospital and Karolinska InstituteHuddingeSweden

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