Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(5):849-858. doi:10.7150/ijbs.40886

Research Paper

Improvement of cognitive and motor performance with mitotherapy in aged mice

Zizhen Zhao1, Zhenyao Yu1, Yixue Hou1, Le Zhang2, Ailing Fu1✉

1. School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.
2. College of Computer Science, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610065, China.

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Zhao Z, Yu Z, Hou Y, Zhang L, Fu A. Improvement of cognitive and motor performance with mitotherapy in aged mice. Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(5):849-858. doi:10.7150/ijbs.40886. Available from

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Changes in mitochondrial structure and function are mostly responsible for aging and age-related features. Whether healthy mitochondria could prevent aging is, however, unclear. Here we intravenously injected the mitochondria isolated from young mice into aged mice and investigated the mitotherapy on biochemistry metabolism and animal behaviors. The results showed that heterozygous mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of both aged and young mouse coexisted in tissues of aged mice after mitochondrial administration, and meanwhile, ATP content in tissues increased while reactive oxygen species (ROS) level reduced. Besides, the mitotherapy significantly improved cognitive and motor performance of aged mice. Our study, at the first report in aged animals, not only provides a useful approach to study mitochondrial function associated with aging, but also a new insight into anti-aging through mitotherapy.

Keywords: mitochondria, bioenergy, learning and memory, motor