Mature erythrocytes of Iguana iguana (Squamata, Iguanidae) possess functional mitochondria

Giuseppina Di Giacomo, Silvia Campello, Mauro Corrado, Livia Di Giambattista, Claudia Cirotti, Giuseppe Filomeni, Gabriele Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electron microscopy analyses of Iguana iguana blood preparations revealed the presence of mitochondria within erythrocytes with well-structured cristae. Fluorescence microscopy analyses upon incubation with phalloidin-FITC, Hoechst 33342 and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm)-sensitive probe MitoTracker Red indicated that mitochondria i) widely occur in erythrocytes, ii) are polarized, and iii) seem to be preferentially confined at a "perinuclear" region, as confirmed by electron microscopy. The analysis of NADH-dependent oxygen consumption showed that red blood cells retain the capability to consume oxygen, thereby providing compelling evidence that mitochondria of Iguana erythrocytes are functional and capable to perform oxidative phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0136770
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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