Skeletal muscle mitochondrial clearance: translation to COPD

Pieter Arnold Leermakers

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Mitochondria are cell organelles that convert energy from nutrients into usable energy. Energy COP is affected in many COPD patients, not only due to lung failure, but also due to reduced amounts of mitochondria in skeletal muscles. In this thesis, the mechanism of mitochondrial degradation in muscles has been investigated. We demonstrated in muscle biopsies that molecular processes involved in mitochondrial degradation are more activated in COPD patients than in controls. Furthermore, experimental models looked at how physical inactivity, systemic inflammation, and iron deficiency can initiate these processes in the muscles. It has also been demonstrated for the first time that mitochondria can be excreted from muscles via extracellular vesicles.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Schols, Annemie, Supervisor
  • Gosker, Harry, Co-Supervisor
Award date5 Apr 2019
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789463802703
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Mitochondria
  • COPD
  • lung failure
  • muscles

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