Mitochondrial regulation in skeletal muscle

Skeletal muscle is a highly metabolic organ, with demands increasing as much as 100-fold during exercise. Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell, being the primary source of oxidative ATP supply. Mitochondria are differentially abundant in muscles of differing fibre type proportions. There are numerous factors that affect mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle. How any of these are affected by disease is of growing interest to researchers as we attempt to understand the extent of mitochondrial involvement in diseases such as metabolic diseases (e.g. Type II diabetes), neuromuscular diseases (e.g. muscular dystrophy) and ageing.

Given the role of mitochondria in muscle and during exercise, as well as the fibre specific responses to exercise and in mitochondrial abundance and likely function, we explore mitochondrial content, function and/or dynamics in skeletal muscle. Of particular interest are diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and the exploration of any impairments in mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle obtained from old compared with young individuals. Mouse models are sometimes used to further investigate changes seen.