Cell Death and Inflammation: The Role of Mitochondria in Health and Disease

Anna Picca, Riccardo Calvani, Hélio José Coelho‐Junior, Emanuele Marzetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Mitochondria serve as a hub for a multitude of vital cellular processes. To ensure an efficient deployment of mitochondrial tasks, organelle homeostasis needs to be preserved. Mitochondrial quality control (MQC) mechanisms (i.e., mitochondrial dynamics, biogenesis, proteostasis, and autophagy) are in place to safeguard organelle integrity and functionality. Defective MQC has been reported in several conditions characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation. In this context, the displacement of mitochondrial components, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), into the extracellular compartment is a possible factor eliciting an innate immune response. The presence of bacterial-like CpG islands in mtDNA makes this molecule recognized as a damaged-associated molecular pattern by the innate immune system. Following cell death-triggering stressors, mtDNA can be released from the cell and ignite inflammation via several pathways. Crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis has emerged as a pivotal factor for the regulation of mtDNA release, cell's fate, and inflammation. The repression of mtDNA-mediated interferon production, a powerful driver of immunological cell death, is also regulated by autophagy-apoptosis crosstalk. Interferon production during mtDNA-mediated inflammation may be exploited for the elimination of dying cells and their conversion into elements driving anti-tumor immunity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-17
Numero di pagine17
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Alarmins
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation
  • Interferons
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics
  • Mitophagy
  • Neoplasms
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Signal Transduction
  • apoptosis
  • damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs)
  • immunogenic cell death
  • innate immunity
  • mitochondrial dynamics
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • mitochondrial quality control (MQC)
  • mitophagy
  • oxidative stress
  • reactive oxygen species (ROS)


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