Mitochondrial mechanisms of neuronal cell death: Potential the rapeutics

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70 Scopus citations


Mitochondria lie at the crossroads of neuronal survival and cell death. They play important roles in cellular bioenergetics, control intracellular Ca{2+} homeostasis, and participate in key metabolic pathways. Mutations in genes involved in mitochondrial quality control cause a myriad of neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria have evolved strategies to kill cells when they are not able to continue their vital functions. This review provides an overview of the role of mitochondria in neurologic disease and the cell death pathways that are mediated through mitochondria, including their role in accidental cell death, the regulated cell death pathways of apoptosis and parthanatos, and programmed cell death. It details the current state of parthanatic cell death and discusses potential therapeutic strategies targeting initiators and effectors of mitochondrial-mediated cell death in neurologic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-454
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
StatePublished - Jan 6 2017


  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis-inducing factor
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parthanatos
  • Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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