Mitochondria are essential cellular organelles critical for generating adenosine triphosphate for cellular homeostasis, as well as various mechanisms that can lead to both necrosis and apoptosis. The field of “mitochondrial medicine” is emerging in which injury/disease states are targeted therapeutically at the level of the mitochondrion, including specific antioxidants, bioenergetic substrate additions, and membrane uncoupling agents. Consequently, novel mitochondrial transplantation strategies represent a potentially multifactorial therapy leading to increased adenosine triphosphate production, decreased oxidative stress, mitochondrial DNA replacement, improved bioenergetics and tissue sparing. Herein, we describe briefly the history of mitochondrial transplantation and the various techniques used for both in vitro and in vivo delivery, the benefits associated with successful transference into both peripheral and central nervous system tissues, along with caveats and pitfalls that hinder the advancements of this novel therapeutic.

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Published in Neural Regeneration Research, v. 13, issue 2, p. 194-197.

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This work was funded by NIH R21NS096670 (AGR), University of Kentucky Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center Chair Endowment (AGR), NIH/NINDS 2P30NS051220.