New Study Reveals Impact of Mitovesicles on Synaptic Function

Recent research led by Efrat Levy from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine highlights the significant role of mitovesicles—small extracellular vesicles of mitochondrial origin—in affecting synaptic function, especially in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. These findings build on previous studies showing altered mitovesicle content in conditions characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction.

In this study, hippocampal slices from wild-type mice were exposed to different types of extracellular vesicles, including mitovesicles from Down syndrome and control mice. The researchers recorded long-term potentiation (LTP) to assess synaptic function. They also investigated the role of monoamine oxidases by treating mitovesicles with MAO inhibitors before application.

Results showed that mitovesicles from Down syndrome model brains quickly reduced LTP, unlike those from control brains or other types of vesicles. Crucially, removing MAO-B activity from mitovesicles prevented this LTP impairment.

This study uncovers a new mechanism by which mitovesicles influence synaptic activity, suggesting they play a significant role in neurodegenerative disorders.

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Dr. Levy will present her latest research during the Targeting EVs 2024 conference in Malta this October.

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