Loss of dendritic complexity precedes neurodegeneration in a mouse model with disrupted mitochondrial distribution in mature dendrites


Correct mitochondrial distribution is critical for satisfying local energy demands and calcium buffering requirements and supporting key cellular processes. The mitochondrially targeted proteins Miro1 and Miro2 are important components of the mitochondrial transport machinery, but their specific roles in neuronal development, maintenance, and survival remain poorly understood. Using mouse knockout strategies, we demonstrate that Miro1, as opposed to Miro2, is the primary regulator of mitochondrial transport in both axons and dendrites. Miro1 deletion leads to depletion of mitochondria from distal dendrites but not axons, accompanied by a marked reduction in dendritic complexity. Disrupting postnatal mitochondrial distribution in vivo by deleting Miro1 in mature neurons causes a progressive loss of distal dendrites and compromises neuronal survival. Thus, the local availability of mitochondrial mass is critical for generating and sustaining dendritic arbors, and disruption of mitochondrial distribution in mature neurons is associated with neurodegeneration.

Journal details

Journal Cell Reports
Volume 17
Issue number 2
Pages 317-327
Available online
Publication date