MitoCom lectures

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MitoCom lectures

MitoCom lectures: Introduction to mitochondrial respiratory physiology - Innsbruck, November 2011

An informal series of lectures will be held in November 2011 in the OROBOROS Office, Schöpfstr. 18, Innsbruck, as an introduction to mitochondrial respiratory physiology. The specific topics will be used primarily to explain the general underlying concepts. Lectures will be complemented by group discussions of relevant literature and experimental progress.


  • 2011-Nov-03, 8:15 - 09:45. OROBOROS, Schöpfstr. 18
E. Gnaiger (Innsbruck): Approaching in vivo mitochondrial function: Coupling and substrate control of mitochondrial respiration in active and sedentary life styles. (Abstract 1; Abstract 2)


  • 2011-Nov-08, 8:15 - 09:45. OROBOROS, Schöpfstr. 18
E. Gnaiger (Innsbruck): The Greenland expedition: Are mitochondria of traditional Inuit hunters (Northern haplotypes) more uncoupled for higher heat production? (Perspectives)


  • 2011-Nov-10, 8:15 - 09:45. MUI Chirurgie (8-U1-517) Seminarraum 2
MiPNet Lecture by Petr Jezek (Prague): 3D visualization of mitochondrial network and mtDNA nucleoids at 30 nm by biplane FPALM microscopy. (Abstract; CV)


  • 2011-Nov-15, 8:15 - 09:45. OROBOROS, Schöpfstr. 18
D. Pesta (Innsbruck): Endurance and strength training in sedentary controls and elite endurance athletes: Are trained mitochondria less coupled? (Abstract 1; Abstract 2)
E. Gnaiger (Innsbruck): Experimental validation of substrate-uncoupler-inhibitor titration protocols with NIH3T3 fibroblasts. (Abstract)


  • 2011-Nov-17, 8:15 - 09:45. OROBOROS, Schöpfstr. 18
E. Gnaiger (Innsbruck): Mitochondrial respiratory capacity at maximum aerobic exercise: Are intracellular oxygen levels limiting? (Abstract and References)


  • 2011-Nov-22, 8:15 - 09:45. OROBOROS, Schöpfstr. 18
E. Gnaiger (Innsbruck): From mouse to man, from muscle to brain. Comparative mitochondrial physiology. (Abstract 1; Abstract 2)


  • 2011-Nov-24, 8:15 - 09:45. OROBOROS, Schöpfstr. 18
Project presentations:
  • Michael Fischer: Myofacial trigger points - skeletal muscle dysfunction.
  • Carolina Doerrier: Mitochondrial coupling and substrate control in permeabilized fibres versus tissue homogenate from mouse heart: A comparative study aimed at evaluation of the PBS tissue shredder.

Informal registration

  • Please, contact: katrin.stecher@oroboros.at
  • Participants should make themselves familiar with fundamental mitochondrial pathways and respiratory states: MitoPathways.
 Metabolic melodies

Reading list

  • Tissue mass-specific OXPHOS capacity depends on mitochondrial quantity and quality: Comparison of human skeletal and cardiac mitochondrial respiratory control
Pesta D, Hoppel F, Macek C, Messner H, Faulhaber M, Kobel C, Parson W, Burtscher M, Schocke M, Gnaiger E (2011) Similar qualitative and quantitative changes of mitochondrial respiration following strength and endurance training in normoxia and hypoxia in sedentary humans. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 301: R1078–R1087.
Lemieux H, Semsroth S, Antretter H, Hoefer D, Gnaiger E (2011) Mitochondrial respiratory control and early defects of oxidative phosphorylation in the failing human heart. Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 43: 1729–1738.
  • Is mitochondrial respiratory function different in permeabilized fibres, homogenate, and isolated mitochondria, and in different instrumental systems?
Gnaiger E (2009) Capacity of oxidative phosphorylation in human skeletal muscle. New perspectives of mitochondrial physiology. Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 41: 1837-1845.
Pecinova A, Drahota Z, Nuskova H, Pecina P, Houstek J (2011) Evaluation of basic mitochondrial functions using rat tissue homogenates. Mitochondrion 11: 722-728.
Picard M, Taivassalo T, Ritchie D, Wright KJ, Thomas MM, Romestaing C, Hepple RT (2011) Mitochondrial structure and function are disrupted by standard isolation methods. PLoS One 6: 1-12.
Rogers GW, Brand MD, Petrosyan S, Ashok D, Elorza AA, Ferrick DA, Murphy AN (2011) High throughput microplate respiratory measurements using minimal quantities of isolated mitochondria. PLoS One 6: e21746. - See discussion: Talk:Rogers_2011_PLoSOne
  • Intact versus permeabilized cells: When and why apply both experimental models?
Pesta D, Gnaiger E (2012) High-resolution respirometry. OXPHOS protocols for human cells and permeabilized fibres from small biopisies of human muscle. Methods Mol. Biol. 810: 25-58.
  • Does in vitro OXPHOS capacity correspond to maximum mitochondrial respiration in vivo?
Boushel R, Gnaiger E, Calbet JA, Gonzalez-Alonso J, Wright-Paradis C, Sondergaard H, Ara I, Helge JW, Saltin B (2011) Muscle mitochondrial capacity exceeds maximal oxygen delivery in humans. Mitochondrion 11: 303-307.

Journal club

  • Mitochondrial efficiency and P/O flux ratios: new perspectives in mitochondrial physiology
Larsen FJ, Schiffer TA, Borniquel S, Sahlin K, Ekblom B, Lundberg JO, Weitzberg E (2011) Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans. Cell Metab. 13: 149-159.
Larsen FJ, Schiffer TA, Sahlin K, Ekblom B, Weitzberg E, Lundberg JO (2011) Mitochondrial oxygen affinity predicts basal metabolic rate in humans. FASEB J. 25: 2843-2852.
  • Cell respiration: review without quantitative results and vague terminology
Brand MD, Nicholls DG (2011) Assessing mitochondrial dysfunction in cells. Biochem. J. 435: 297-312.
Fig. 3: ET-capacity is not determined quantitatively, since optimum FCCP concentrations are not tested, and are very likely not obtained, since uncoupled (and inhibited) repiration delinces steeply with time. See Artefacts by single dose uncoupling.
p. 304: ".. hepatocyte basal respiration can be greatly increased by addition of fatty acids, pyruvate, lactate or adrenaline ..". This terminology lacks physiological background: see Basal respiration.
p. 306: "Conceptually, spare respiratory capacity has the advantage of indicating how close to its bioenergetic limit a cell is operating." This statement lacks conceptual understanding of the importance and variability of OXPHOS flux control by the phosphorylation system (see P/E).