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

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.