Key role of mitochondria in Alzheimer's disease synaptic dysfunction

Virve Cavallucci, Caterina Ferraina, Marcello D'Amelio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuronal transmission and functional synapses require mitochondria, which are mainly involved in the generation of energy (ATP and NAD+), regulation of cell signaling and calcium homeostasis. Particularly intriguing is emerging data suggesting the relationship between mitochondria and neurotrophic factors that can act at the synaptic level promoting neuronal transmission and plasticity. On the other hand, disturbances in mitochondrial functions might contribute to impaired synaptic transmission and neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's Disease and other chronic and acute neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we review the molecular mediators controling mitochondrial function and their impact on synaptic dysfunction associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6440-6450
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • ATP production
  • Cell death
  • Mitochondria dynamics
  • Neurotransmitter release
  • Synaptic function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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