Joao Ramalho-Santos, from University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal talked about Ageing & Male Reproductive Function: A Mitochondrial Perspective.
According Pr Ramalho-Santos: "Mitochondria are fascinating organelles involved in crucial cellular processes, including metabolism, ATP management, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and apoptosis. Furthermore, recent data has placed mitochondria at the hub of cell division, differentiation and lineage commitment, and will likely help redefine their role in the future. The focus of our research program is the role of mitochondria in the testis, sperm and pluripotent stem cells. Testicular mitochondria have different bioenergetic parameters when compared with mitochondria harvested from other tissues. Specifically, testis mitochondria are shown to consume less oxygen to generate approximately the same maximum electric potential as other tissues. Furthermore a peak of mitochondrial functionality was detected in adult animals, with a decrease in both young and older animals. In the latter group a decrease in mitochondrial function was matched with an increase in proton leak and expression and activity of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), suggesting that proton leak may be involved in managing age-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction. "
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