The influence of mitochondrial dysfunction on pathological states involving inflammatory and/or oxidative stress in tissues
that do not show frank cellular apoptosis or necrosis has been rather difficult to unravel, and the literature is replete with contradictory information.
Although such discrepancies have many potential causes related to the type of injurious agent, the severity and duration of the
injury, and the particular cells and tissues and the functions involved, it is the successful induction of cellular adaptive responses that ultimately
governs the resolution of mitochondrial dysfunction and survival of the cell. Much recent attention has been devoted to unraveling
the signaling pathways that activate mitochondrial biogenesis and other processes involved in mitochondrial quality control (QC) during
inflammatory and oxidative stress with an eye towards the development of novel targets for therapeutic mitigation of the resultant tissue
damage. This review provides a brief overview of this emerging field with an emphasis on the role of signaling through the endogenous
gases (NO, CO and H2S) and a redox-based approach that brings transparency to key factors that contribute to the resolution of mitochondrial
dysfunction and the maintenance of cell vitality. We make the case that targeted stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis
could be a potentially valuable approach for the development of new therapies for the treatment of diseases for which mitochondrial
damage is a major consideration.
Keywords: Mitochondria, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, H2S, HO-1, mitophagy.
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