The involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction promoting neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has been suggested. Histopathological and biochemical mitochondrial abnormalities have been reported in both sporadic and familial patients and suggest the contention that mitochondria may play a key role promoting ALS. Animal models of ALS provide a unique opportunity to study this incurable and fatal human disease. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that alterations in mitochondrial physiology occur in the brain of wobbler mice. No significant difference was found in the respiratory control index or adenosine diphosphate/oxygen ratio values between isolated mitochondria of wobbler and control mice. When pyruvate and malate were used as substrates, oxygen consumption was decreased significantly by approximately 33% in mitochondria isolated from wobbler mouse brain compared to controls. Oxygen consumption in the presence of ascorbate and N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine (TMPD) was decreased significantly by approximately 21% in wobbler brain mitochondria compared to controls, which suggests impairment in the function of complex IV. These findings are the first demonstration of mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction in the brain of the wobbler mouse.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Complex IV
- Neurodegenerative disease
- Wobbler mouse
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