Differential remodelling of mitochondrial subpopulations and mitochondrial dysfunction are a feature of early stage diabetes

Bodour Rajab, Sarah Kassab, Aleksandr Mironov, Connor Stonall, Hussam Daghistani, Stephen Gibbons, Mamas Mamas, David Smith, Zainab Albalawi, Florence Baudoin, Min Zi, Sukhpal Prehar, Elizabeth Cartwright, Yin Hua Zhang, Ashraf Kitmitto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitochondrial dysfunction is a feature of type I and type II diabetes, but there is a lack of consistency between reports and links to disease development. We aimed to investigate if mitochondrial structure–function remodelling occurs in the early stages of diabetes by employing a mouse model (GENA348) of Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young, exhibiting hyperglycemia, but not hyperinsulinemia, with mild left ventricular dysfunction. Employing 3-D electron microscopy (SBF-SEM) we determined that compared to wild-type, WT, the GENA348 subsarcolemma mitochondria (SSM) are ~ 2-fold larger, consistent with up-regulation of fusion proteins Mfn1, Mfn2 and Opa1. Further, in comparison, GENA348 mitochondria are more irregular in shape, have more tubular projections with SSM projections being longer and wider. Mitochondrial density is also increased in the GENA348 myocardium consistent with up-regulation of PGC1-α and stalled mitophagy (down-regulation of PINK1, Parkin and Miro1). GENA348 mitochondria have more irregular cristae arrangements but cristae dimensions and density are similar to WT. GENA348 Complex activity (I, II, IV, V) activity is decreased but the OCR is increased, potentially linked to a shift towards fatty acid oxidation due to impaired glycolysis. These novel data reveal that dysregulated mitochondrial morphology, dynamics and function develop in the early stages of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number978
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental/pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/pathology
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria, Heart/physiology
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics
  • Myocardium/ultrastructure


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