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Publication type: Diploma Thesis

Year: 2013

Author(s): Miller, Manuel

Title: Erstellung eines Mausmodells zur Untersuchung mitochondrialer Migration.

Other title: Generation of a mouse model to study mitochondrial migration

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 31.


Kolbe Thomas

Brem Gottfried

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Laboratory Animal Science

Graduation date: 15.04.13

Mitochondria are essential cell organelles which exist in all nucleated mammalian cells. They represent the „power station“ of the cell, the place where the high-energy molecule ATP is produced. If mitochondria are no longer able to accomplish this task due to a mutation, mitochondriopathies occur. Up to this day the cure of these are very limited. One possible approach would be to introduce functional mitochondria into these diseased cells and in the best case to replace the mutated ones. However, it would be required that mitochondria are able to migrate across cell boundaries. The scientific literature contains some evidence for such an in vitro migration. The aim of this research was to create an appropriate mouse model to demonstrate the in vivo transmission of mitochondria between cells. A heteroplasmic mouse model was created through aggregation chimaera. C57BL/6 embryos, containing laboratory mouse mitochondria, were aggregated with STRA embryos, containing wild mouse mitochondria. The resulting female chimaera were bred and liver samples from the offspring were used for further analysis. By means of the Amplification Refractory Mutation System-qPCR the samples were analyzed for their content of STRA- and C57B L/6-specific mtDNA. It is an evidence for mitochondrial or mtDNA transmission via the germline if both specific mtDNAs can be detected. 13 of 89 samples contained mtDNA of the minor mitotype above the detectable threshold. This discovery suggests the migration of mitochondria between cells in a small extend. With a more sensitive qPCR mitochondrial exchange was confirmed in some samples of the previously analyzed mice. The results obtained should be confirmed by further research via molecular genetic studies. A better understanding of the transmission path of mitochondria would be a major step towards understanding mitochondriopathies and the possibility to develop new therapies.

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