Apr 11, 2020

Daily mitochondrial dynamics in cone photoreceptors

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
M. M. GiarmarcoSusan E Brockerhoff

Abstract

Cone photoreceptors in the retina are exposed to intense daylight, and have higher energy demands in darkness. Cones produce energy using a large cluster of mitochondria. Mitochondria are susceptible to oxidative damage, and healthy mitochondrial populations are maintained by regular turnover. Daily cycles of light exposure and energy consumption suggest that mitochondrial turnover is important for cone health. We investigated the 3-D ultrastructure and metabolic function of zebrafish cone mitochondria throughout the day. At night cones undergo a mitochondrial biogenesis event, corresponding to an increase in the number of smaller, simpler mitochondria and increased metabolic activity. In the daytime, ER and autophagosomes associate more with mitochondria, and mitochondrial size distribution across the cluster changes. We also report dense material shared between cone mitochondria that is extruded from the cell in darkness, sometimes forming extracellular structures. Our findings reveal an elaborate set of daily changes to cone mitochondrial structure and function.

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