Image of the Day: Red-Hot Mitochondria

Mitochondria may sustain temperatures more than 10 °C warmer than human cells, say researchers. 

Jan 29, 2018
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff

Four human cells, each with its nucleus (N) and its numerous hot filamentous mitochondria illuminated by a thermosensitive probe (yellow-red)MALGORZATA RAKMitochondria play a major role in maintaining stable internal temperatures in endothermic species. Using a temperature-sensitive fluorescent probe to measure mitochondrial temperatures in cultured human cells, researchers found that they could reach temperatures as high as 50 °C.


D. Chrétien et al., “Mitochondria are physiologically maintained at close to 50 °C,” PLOS Biology, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2003992, 2018.