Preservation of mitochondrial volume homeostasis at the early stages of age-related synaptic deterioration

Carlo Bertoni-Freddari, Patrizia Fattoretti, Belinda Giorgetti, Yessica Grossi, Marta Balietti, Tiziana Casoli, Giuseppina Di Stefano, Gemma Perretta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A morphometric study on synaptic mitochondria was performed in the frontal (FC) and temporal (TC) cortex of adult and aged monkeys to seek ultrastructural alterations due to age. The overall volume covered by mitochondria (volume density: Vv), the number of mitochondria/μm3 of tissue (numeric density: Nv), the average mitochondrial size (average volume: V), and the average mitochondrial shape (average length: Fmax) were calculated. Either in FC and TC, no significant age-related differences were revealed for any of the above-mentioned morphometric parameters. Namely, in FC of aged monkeys, a decrease of Vv (2%) and Nv (6%) was observed, whereas V and Fmax were increased by 5% and 2%, respectively. In TC of aged animals, both Vv and Nv increased by 7%, V decreased by 2%, and Fmax increased by 1%. The above morphometric parameters account for changes in single aspects of mitochondrial ultrastructure; nonetheless, when considered together per experimental group, they provide information regarding the structural rearrangements occurring on discrete populations of organelles. Considering these assumptions, the present findings document a preservation of the mitochondrial volume homeostasis in the brain of aged monkeys. Because our data from a previous investigation on the same animals showed early signs of synaptic deterioration in FC and TC during aging, this seems to be in contrast with the results of the present study. However, the clear age-related preservation of the mitochondrial potential for structural dynamics may be interpreted as a reactive response to early signs of synaptic deterioration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)00778923
ISSN (Electronic)17496632


  • Age-related synaptic deterioration
  • Aging
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Mitochondrial morphometry
  • Mitochondrial structural dynamics
  • Mitochondrial volume homeostasis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Synaptic mitochondria
  • Synaptic pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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