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mtDNA clock runs out for dopaminergic neurons

New studies indicate that damage to the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) accumulates with age, specifically in the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra implicated in Parkinson disease. These findings suggest that mtDNA damage is important in the decay of dopaminergic neurons in aging and in Parkinson disease, resulting in loss of mitochondrial function and, ultimately, neuronal death.

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Figure 1: The substantia nigra of the human brain contains dopaminergic neurons that progressively degenerate during the course of aging.

Katie Ris


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Manfredi, G. mtDNA clock runs out for dopaminergic neurons. Nat Genet 38, 507–508 (2006).

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