Mitochondrial metabolism in early neural fate and its relevance for neuronal disease modeling


  • C. Lorenz
  • A. Prigione


  • Current Opinion in Cell Biology


  • Curr Opin Cell Biol 49: 71-76


  • Modulation of energy metabolism is emerging as a key aspect associated with cell fate transition. The establishment of a correct metabolic program is particularly relevant for neural cells given their high bioenergetic requirements. Accordingly, diseases of the nervous system commonly involve mitochondrial impairment. Recent studies in animals and in neural derivatives of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) highlighted the importance of mitochondrial metabolism for neural fate decisions in health and disease. The mitochondria-based metabolic program of early neurogenesis suggests that PSC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs) may be used for modeling neurological disorders. Understanding how metabolic programming is orchestrated during neural commitment may provide important information for the development of therapies against conditions affecting neural functions, including aging and mitochondrial disorders.