Mitochondrial dysfunction may represent one of the key cellular pathologies in Alzheimer’s disease and may be intimately related to its progression. Defective metabolism and increased generation of excess reactive oxygen species in mitochondria, as widely observed in Alzheimer's cases, can lead to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) oxidative modification and likely increases in rates of mtDNA mutations. Such molecular changes can enhance the mitochondrial and cellular pathology, especially in populations of neurons selectively vulnerable to oxidative stress.
The Mitochondrial Genomics and Metabolism (MGM) Core of the KU Azheimer's Disease Center was structured to provide unique resources and expertise to investigators who plan to probe mitochondrial changes in Alzheimer's disease and unravel the relationships between Alzheimer's and altered mitochondrial metabolism in white blood cells, platelets, neurons, glia, and muscle cells.
Core Resources and Expertise of MGM
MGM will assist investigators in studies on mitochondria obtained from the brain, muscle, white blood cells, and platelets of well-characterized cases of Alzheimer's, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and age-matched controls. Specifically, MGM offers the following core resources and expertise for ADC investigators:
The goal of the MGM core is to jumpstart independently funded research focused on Alzheimer's disease and mtDNA gene and protein structure, function, and expression. The ultimate goal is to enhance Alzheimer's disease related research into mitochondrial structure and function in the Kansas City region and assist national research efforts focused on mitochondria. MGM’s expertise in mitochondrial genome sequencing, heteroplasmy determination, mtDNA oxidation, cybrid generation, and mitochondrial metabolic activity measurements can prove to be an invaluable resource for investigators interested in the role of mitochondrial function and Alzheimer's.