The role of mitochondria in cardiovascular diseases is receiving ever growing attention. As a central player in the regulation of cellular metabolism and a powerful controller of cellular fate, mitochondria appear to comprise an interesting potential therapeutic target. With the development of DNA sequencing methods, mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) became a subject of intensive study, since many directly lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, deficient energy production and, as a result, cell dysfunction and death. Many mtDNA mutations were found to be associated with chronic human diseases, including cardiovascular disorders. In particular, 17 mtDNA mutations were reported to be associated with ischemic heart disease in humans. In this review, we discuss the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and describe the mtDNA mutations identified so far that are associated with atherosclerosis and its risk factors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited