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Hot mitochondria

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Ravn, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Time will tell if this is true or a laboratory artefact, but if it is true there'll be a lot of research needing redone.

    Mitochondria are physiologically maintained at close to 50 °C

    Published: January 25, 2018
    http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2003992

    Further discussed here
    http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2005113

    Edited to add:
    Scandinavians can read a more easily digested discussion on the above articles here:
    https://videnskab.dk/krop-sundhed/ekstraordinaer-opdagelse-cellens-mitokondrier-er-50-grader-varme (Danish)
    As an aside, the Danish article links to another one from March 2017 that features a Danish researcher convinced that mitochondrial dyfunction will be shown to be the cause of ME.
    https://videnskab.dk/krop-sundhed/kronisk-traethed-kan-skyldes-dysfunktionelle-celler
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  2. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Does this explain why my pillow gets so hot and i have to turn it a dozen times each night, and even with two pillows i can't keep a cool head for long? :emoji_fire:
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I have just read the abstract of the paper, and the article discussing it. It takes me well beyond my scientific understanding, but I found what I did understand absolutely fascinating.

    From what I gather, they used a chemical that concentrates in the mitochondria and fluoresces in a way that changes with temperature. When the cells were actively producing energy, the fluorescent chemical indicated a temperature of 50 degrees C, that is about 10 degrees above the ambient body temperature. (done with cells in vitro). But this could be an artefact of the fluorescent chemical being changed by the particular chemical environment in the mitochondria...

    Apparently most of the energy produced in mitochondria doesn't go to making ATP, it is released as heat, which is what keeps us 'warm blooded'. I have no idea what the implications might be for ME if our mitochondria aren't working properly...

    I hope others here with a better understanding of cell biology/biochemistry might have some idea about this.
     
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  4. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Could this be where some of the lost energy goes? Could it be why some PwME get over-heated?
     
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  5. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Or alternatively could it be that, if the blockage in ME is before the partly broken down glucose reaches the mitochondria, we are sometimes prone to having a low temperature? I suspect it's too uncertain for us to draw any useful ME related conclusions.
     
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  6. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Good summary @Trish That's about as much as I could fathom.

    Two points from the second article:

    1/ It's possible that what the researchers' “thermometer” (the fluorescence signal) measured was not actually heat but something else. In which case it would be important to figure out what exactly and what the implications of that are.

    Quote: "The strength of the fluorescence signal is affected by collisional quenching and the fast, turbulent motion of neighbouring molecules, but neither of these necessarily always or only relates to temperature."

    2/ It looks like heat generation by mitochondria has an effect in other diseases. Has anybody looked at this in ME?

    Quote: "Small differences in heat generation by mitochondria might influence the risk of diseases ranging from diabetes and male infertility [20] to cancer [21] and the rate of ageing [22]."

    I have this highly unscientific picture in my head of mitochondria spinning frantically, ever faster - ever hotter - but not generating any ATP, only useless heat. I know I sure generate a lot of useless heat when in PEM...
     
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