This work was undertaken to develop a method for the isolation of mitochondria from a single cerebral hemisphere in neonatal mice. Mitochondria from the normal mouse brain hemisphere isolated by the proposed method exhibited a good respiratory control ratio of 6.39 ± 0.53 during glutamate-malate-induced phosphorylating respiration. Electron microscopy showed intact mitochondria. The applicability of this method was tested on mitochondria isolated from naïve mice and their littermates subjected to hypoxic-ischemic insult. Hypoxic-ischemic insult prior to reperfusion resulted in a significant (p < 0.01) inhibition of phosphorylating respiration compared to naïve littermates. This was associated with a profound depletion of the ATP content in the ischemic hemisphere. The expression for Mn superoxide dismutase and cytochrome C (markers for the integrity of the mitochondrial matrix and outer membrane) was determined by Western blot to control for mitochondrial integrity and quantity in the compared samples. Thus, we have developed a method for the isolation of the cerebral mitochondria from a single hemisphere adapted to neonatal mice. This method may serve as a valuable tool to study mitochondrial function in a mouse model of immature brain injury. In addition, the suggested method enables us to examine the mitochondrial functional phenotype in immature mice with a targeted genetic alteration.

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