Fighting Parkinson's disease: The return of the mitochondria

Kevin Zambrano, Diego Barba, Karina Castillo, Luis Noboa, Dariana Argueta-Zamora, Paola Robayo, Eduardo Arizaga, Andres Caicedo, Antonio W.D. Gavilanes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder, worldwide. PD neuro-energetically affects the extrapyramidal system, by the progressive loss of striatal dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, leading to motor impairment. During the progression of PD, there will be an increase in mitochondrial dysfunction, reactive oxygen species (ROS), stress and accumulation of α-synuclein in neurons. This results in mitochondrial mutations altering their function and fission–fusion mechanisms and central nervous system (CNS) degeneration. Intracellular mitochondrial dysfunction has been studied for a long time in PD due to the decline of mitochondrial dynamics inside neurons. Mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) have been known to contribute to several CNS pathologies especially PD pathogenesis. New and exciting evidence regarding the exchange of mitochondria between healthy to damaged cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and the therapeutic use of the artificial mitochondrial transfer/transplant (AMT) marked a return of this organelle to develop innovative therapeutic procedures for PD. The focus of this review aims to shed light on the role of mitochondria, both intra and extracellularly in PD, and how AMT could be used to generate new potential therapies in the fight against PD. Moreover, we suggest that mitochondrial therapy could work as a preventative measure, motivating the field to move towards this goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Cell-free circulating mtDNA
  • Extracellular mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial Transfer/Transplant (AMT/T)
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Parkinson's disease


Dive into the research topics of 'Fighting Parkinson's disease: The return of the mitochondria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this