Mild mitochondrial uncoupling, or the reduction of the efficiency of energy conversion without compromising intracellular high energy phosphate levels, is a protective therapeutic strategy under many laboratory conditions. Here we discuss these conditions, which include both cell and animal models of ischemia reperfusion and complications associated with the metabolic syndrome. We also discuss drugs that promote mild mitochondrial uncoupling and naturally occurring mild mitochondrial uncoupling pathways involving free fatty acid cycling and K+ transport.
Keywords: Mitochondria, uncoupler, dinitrophenol, uncoupling protein, adenine nucleotide translocator, ATP-sensitive K+ channels, redox sensitive pathways, ROS release, energy metabolism, flavoenzymes
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