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3D reconstruction of murine mitochondria reveals changes in structure during aging linked to the MICOS complex


Vue Z , Garza-Lopez E , Neikirk K , Katti P , Vang L , Beasley H , Shao J , Marshall GA , Crabtree A , Murphy CA , Jenkins CB , Prasad P , Evans C , Taylor B , Mungai M , Killion M , Stephens D , Christensen AT , Lam J , Rodriguez B , Phillips AM , Daneshgar N , Koh H , Koh A , Davis J , Devine N , Muhammod S , Scudese E , Arnold RK , Chavarin VV , Robinson DR , Chakraborty M , Gaddy AJ , Sweetwyne TM , Wilson G , Zaganjor E , Kezos J , Dondi C , Reddy KA , Glancy B , Kirabo A , Quintana MA , Dai D , Ocorr K , Murray AS , Damo MS , Exil V , Riggs B , Mobley CB , Gomez AJ , McReynolds RM , Hinton Jr A . Aging Cell. 2023 11 13; ().


During aging, muscle gradually undergoes sarcopenia, the loss of function associated with loss of mass, strength, endurance, and oxidative capacity. However, the 3D structural alterations of mitochondria associated with aging in skeletal muscle and cardiac tissues are not well described. Although mitochondrial aging is associated with decreased mitochondrial capacity, the genes responsible for the morphological changes in mitochondria during aging are poorly characterized. We measured changes in mitochondrial morphology in aged murine gastrocnemius, soleus, and cardiac tissues using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy and 3D reconstructions. We also used reverse transcriptase-quantitative PCR, transmission electron microscopy quantification, Seahorse analysis, and metabolomics and lipidomics to measure changes in mitochondrial morphology and function after loss of mitochondria contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complex genes, Chchd3, Chchd6, and Mitofilin. We identified significant changes in mitochondrial size in aged murine gastrocnemius, soleus, and cardiac tissues. We found that both age-related loss of the MICOS complex and knockouts of MICOS genes in mice altered mitochondrial morphology. Given the critical role of mitochondria in maintaining cellular metabolism, we characterized the metabolomes and lipidomes of young and aged mouse tissues, which showed profound alterations consistent with changes in membrane integrity, supporting our observations of age-related changes in muscle tissues. We found a relationship between changes in the MICOS complex and aging. Thus, it is important to understand the mechanisms that underlie the tissue-dependent 3D mitochondrial phenotypic changes that occur in aging and the evolutionary conservation of these mechanisms between Drosophila and mammals.