Three-dimensional ultrastructure of giant mitochondria in human non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

G.J. Shami*, D. Cheng, P. Verhaegh, G. Koek, E. Wisse, F. Braet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Giant mitochondria are peculiarly shaped, extremely large mitochondria in hepatic parenchymal cells, the internal structure of which is characterised by atypically arranged cristae, enlarged matrix granules and crystalline inclusions. The presence of giant mitochondria in human tissue biopsies is often linked with cellular adversity, caused by toxins such as alcohol, xenobiotics, anti-cancer drugs, free-radicals, nutritional deficiencies or as a consequence of high fat Western diets. To date, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most prevalent liver disease in lipid dysmetabolism, in which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a crucial role. It is not well understood whether the morphologic characteristics of giant mitochondria are an adaption or caused by such dysfunction. In the present study, we employ a complementary multimodal imaging approach involving array tomography and transmission electron tomography in order to comparatively analyse the structure and morphometric parameters of thousands of normal- and giant mitochondria in four patients diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In so doing, we reveal functional alterations associated with mitochondrial gigantism and propose a mechanism for their formation based on our ultrastructural findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3319
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • NEURONAL MITOCHONDRIA
  • CRYSTALLINE INCLUSIONS
  • ELECTRON TOMOGRAPHY
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • CRISTAE
  • MATRIX
  • CELLS
  • MEGAMITOCHONDRIA
  • ARCHITECTURE
  • RIBOFLAVIN

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