Mitochondrial dysfunction and axon degeneration in progressive multiple sclerosis

Graham Campbell, Don Mahad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The neuron is the target of inflammatory demyelinating processes in multiple sclerosis (MS). In progressive MS, however, there is a gathering body of evidence indicating that molecular changes converge on mitochondria within neuronal cell bodies. The most reproducible change relates to mitochondrial respiratory chain complex deficiency, which compromises the capacity of neurons to generate ATP. The resulting energy failure state is coupled with an increase in demand for energy by the demyelinated axon, being particularly relevant to the long tracts such as corticospinal tracts with long projection axons. Recent work in our laboratory and that of our collaborators indicates the limited reflection of the mitochondria changes within neurons in experimental disease models. The mitochondrial changes within neuronal compartments are likely to offer novel targets for the improvement in neuronal function in patients with progressive MS. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS Letters
Early online date17 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Feb 2018


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