Mitochondria (red and green) power cellular activities in this neuronís nucleus (blue) and other components. Mitochondria can be damaged by harmful reactive oxygen species, and this damage is associated with Huntingtonís and other neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants may mitigate the effects. Because these molecules donít target mitochondria, researchers are designing synthetic ones that do. One collaborative team recently reported developing and testing an antioxidant compound in a mouse model of Huntingtonís that improved mitochondrial function and suppressed symptoms of the disease. More testing is needed to determine the therapeutic potential in humans. Image courtesy of the McMurray lab. Read
Featured in the December 20, 2012, issue of Biomedical Beat.