Mitochondria and Reactive Oxygen Species in Aging and Age-Related Diseases

Carlotta Giorgi, Saverio Marchi, Ines C.M. Simoes, Ziyu Ren, Giampaolo Morciano, Mariasole Perrone, Paulina Patalas-Krawczyk, Sabine Borchard, Paulina Jędrak, Karolina Pierzynowska, Jędrzej Szymański, David Q. Wang, Piero Portincasa, Grzegorz Węgrzyn, Hans Zischka, Pawel Dobrzyn, Massimo Bonora, Jerzy Duszynski, Alessandro Rimessi, Agnieszka Karkucinska-WieckowskaAgnieszka Dobrzyn, Gyorgy Szabadkai, Barbara Zavan, Paulo J. Oliveira, Vilma A. Sardao, Paolo Pinton, Mariusz R. Wieckowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


Aging has been linked to several degenerative processes that, through the accumulation of molecular and cellular damage, can progressively lead to cell dysfunction and organ failure. Human aging is linked with a higher risk for individuals to develop cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and metabolic disorders. The understanding of the molecular basis of aging and associated diseases has been one major challenge of scientific research over the last decades. Mitochondria, the center of oxidative metabolism and principal site of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, are crucial both in health and in pathogenesis of many diseases. Redox signaling is important for the modulation of cell functions and several studies indicate a dual role for ROS in cell physiology. In fact, high concentrations of ROS are pathogenic and can cause severe damage to cell and organelle membranes, DNA, and proteins. On the other hand, moderate amounts of ROS are essential for the maintenance of several biological processes, including gene expression. In this review, we provide an update regarding the key roles of ROS–mitochondria cross talk in different fundamental physiological or pathological situations accompanying aging and highlighting that mitochondrial ROS may be a decisive target in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-344
Number of pages136
JournalInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-related neurodegenerative disorders
  • Aging
  • Anti-ROS intervention
  • Antioxidant defense
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction–related pathologies
  • ROS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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