Mitochondrial heterogeneity in metabolic diseases

Jennifer Ngo, Corey Osto, Frankie Villalobos, Orian S. Shirihai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitochondria have distinct architectural features and biochemical functions consistent with cell-specific bioenergetic needs. However, as imaging and isolation techniques advance, heterogeneity amongst mitochondria has been observed to occur within the same cell. Moreover, mi-tochondrial heterogeneity is associated with functional differences in metabolic signaling, fuel uti-lization, and triglyceride synthesis. These phenotypic associations suggest that mitochondrial sub-populations and heterogeneity influence the risk of metabolic diseases. This review examines the current literature regarding mitochondrial heterogeneity in the pancreatic beta-cell and renal proximal tubules as they exist in the pathological and physiological states; specifically, pathological states of glucolipotoxicity, progression of type 2 diabetes, and kidney diseases. Emphasis will be placed on the benefits of balancing mitochondrial heterogeneity and how the disruption of balancing heterogeneity leads to impaired tissue function and disease onset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number927
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Heterogeneity
  • Kidney diseases
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Membrane potential
  • Mitochondria
  • Morphology
  • Subpopulations
  • Type 2 diabetes


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