Circulating Mitochondrial DNA as a Potential Biomarker for Aging and its Related Complications

  • Lara Gibellini
  • Marcello Pinti
  • Sara De Biasi
  • Elena Bianchini
  • Simone Pecorini
  • Anna De Gaetano
  • Andrea CossarizzaEmail author
  • Milena Nasi
Living reference work entry


Mitochondria are organelles present in all nucleated cells that provide energy, in the form of ATP. They are supposed to originate from symbiotic bacteria, and thus their components, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and formylated proteins, when released extracellularly, can act as molecules that contain motifs defined as “damage-associated molecular patterns” (DAMPs) that can activate the innate immune system and in turn trigger or sustain inflammation. A growing body of evidence reveals that mitochondrial DAMPs can play a main role in the low-grade, chronic inflammatory status that characterize elderly people, as well as in some age-associated comorbidities.


Mitochondrial DAMPs Circulating mtDNA Inflammaging Aging Inflammation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara Gibellini
    • 3
  • Marcello Pinti
    • 2
  • Sara De Biasi
    • 2
  • Elena Bianchini
    • 1
  • Simone Pecorini
    • 4
  • Anna De Gaetano
    • 2
  • Andrea Cossarizza
    • 3
    Email author
  • Milena Nasi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Medicine, Dentistry and Morphological SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Life SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children and AdultsUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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