Analysis of mitochondrial respiratory function in tissue biopsies and blood cells

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The review provides an overview on latest methodological strategies to assess mitochondrial respiratory function in tissue biopsies or blood cells. In addition, it summarizes the recent literature related to this topic.

Recent findings

Today, the study of mitochondrial function in key metabolic active tissues has been become more relevant, with increasing focus in clinical applications. In addition, assessment of mitochondrial function in blood cells by respirometry might be a sensitive biomarker of disease progression. High-Resolution Respirometry provides a modern tool to study mitochondrial respiratory physiology which allows direct measurement of cellular metabolic function during health and disease. Moreover, standard operating procedures are required regarding instrumental settings, sample collection and preparation, protocol design and respirometric data analysis of mitochondrial respiratory function in tissue biopsies (such as skeletal muscle, liver and adipose tissue), as well as isolated blood cells.

Summary

Mitochondrial function is a key factor in many metabolic diseases. Although various analytical approaches are available, certain well-established protocols for isolated mitochondria are limited for the analysis of mitochondrial function in tissue biopsies or blood cells. Thus, cautious considerations in selecting appropriate protocols and analytical endpoints are crucial for the interpretation of the gained data and to draw robust conclusions.

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