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Lipid Droplets and Neurodegeneration.

Neuroscience 2024 May 7
Energy metabolism in the brain has been considered one of the critical research areas of neuroscience for ages. One of the most vital parts of brain metabolism cascades is lipid metabolism, and fatty acid plays a crucial role in this process. The fatty acid breakdown process in mitochondria undergoes through a conserved pathway known as β-oxidation where acetyl-CoA and shorter fatty acid chains are produced along with a significant amount of energy molecule. Further, the complete breakdown of fatty acids occurs when they enter the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Cells store energy as neutral lipids in organelles known as Lipid Droplets (LDs) to prepare for variations in the availability of nutrients. Fatty acids are liberated by lipid droplets and are transported to various cellular compartments for membrane biogenesis or as an energy source. Current research shows that LDs are important in inflammation, metabolic illness, and cellular communication. Lipid droplet biology in peripheral organs like the liver and heart has been well investigated, while the brain's LDs have received less attention. Recently, there has been increased awareness of the existence and role of these dynamic organelles in the central nervous system, mainly connected to neurodegeneration. In this review, we discussed the role of beta-oxidation and lipid droplet formation in the oxidative phosphorylation process, which directly affects neurodegeneration through various pathways.

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