Mitochondrial transplantation as a possible therapeutic option for sarcopenia


Journal of Molecular Medicine, vol.101, no.6, pp.645-669, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 101 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00109-023-02326-3
  • Journal Name: Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.645-669
  • Keywords: Sarcopenia, Mitochondrial dysfunction, Skeletal muscle, Mitochondrial transplantation
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Abstract: With advancing age, the skeletal muscle phenotype is characterized by a progressive loss of mass, strength, and quality. This phenomenon, known as sarcopenia, has a negative impact on quality of life and increases the risk of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Accumulating evidence suggests that damaged and dysfunctional mitochondria play a critical role in the pathogenesis of sarcopenia. Lifestyle modifications, such as physical activity, exercise, and nutrition, as well as medical interventions with therapeutic agents, are effective in the management of sarcopenia and offer solutions to maintain and improve skeletal muscle health. Although a great deal of effort has been devoted to the identification of the best treatment option, these strategies are not sufficient to overcome sarcopenia. Recently, it has been reported that mitochondrial transplantation may be a possible therapeutic approach for the treatment of mitochondria-related pathological conditions such as ischemia, liver toxicity, kidney injury, cancer, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Given the role of mitochondria in the function and metabolism of skeletal muscle, mitochondrial transplantation may be a possible option for the treatment of sarcopenia. In this review, we summarize the definition and characteristics of sarcopenia and molecular mechanisms associated with mitochondria that are known to contribute to sarcopenia. We also discuss mitochondrial transplantation as a possible option. Despite the progress made in the field of mitochondrial transplantation, further studies are needed to elucidate the role of mitochondrial transplantation in sarcopenia. Key messages: Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and quality.Although the specific mechanisms that lead to sarcopenia are not fully understood, mitochondria have been identified as a key factor in the development of sarcopenia.Damaged and dysfunctional mitochondria initiate various cellular mediators and signaling pathways, which largely contribute to the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength.Mitochondrial transplantation has been reported to be a possible option for the treatment/prevention of several diseases.Mitochondrial transplantation may be a possible therapeutic option for improving skeletal muscle health and treating sarcopenia. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.] Mitochondrial transplantation as a possible treatment option for sarcopenia.