Inter-Tissue Communication of Mitochondrial Stress and Metabolic Health

Hanlin Zhang, Xinyu Li, Wudi Fan, Sentibel Pandovski, Ye Tian, Andrew Dillin

Life Metabolism


Mitochondria function as a hub of the cellular metabolic network. Mitochondrial stress is closely associated with aging and a variety of diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer. Cells autonomously elicit specific stress responses to cope with mitochondrial stress for maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis. Interestingly, mitochondrial stress responses may also be induced in a non-autonomous manner in cells or tissues that are not directly experiencing mitochondrial stress. Such non-autonomous mitochondrial stress responses are mediated by secreted molecules called mitokines. Due to their significant translational potential in improving human metabolic health, there is a surge of mitokine research. In this review, we summarize the findings about inter-tissue communication of mitochondrial stress in animal models. In addition, we discuss the possibility of mitokine-mediated intercellular mitochondrial communication originating from bacterial quorum sensing.