World Kidney Day 2022

On World Kidney Day, the WCMR at Newcastle University and Kidney Research UK are drawing attention to mitochondrial dysfunction in kidney disease to highlight the important role of mitochondria far beyond mitochondrial disease.

But how are mitochondria linked to kidney disease? Read on to find out more.

  • The role of mitochondria (mito) is to make energy.
  • The kidneys are rich in ‘mito’ as they require a lot of energy to perform their job properly – that is, to remove wastes and extra fluid from your body.
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs when mito don’t work as well as they should.
  • When the dysfunctional mito can’t produce enough energy for the body to function properly, mitochondrial disease occurs. The organs and systems of the body most affected are those that need a lot of energy.
  • Almost half of all people with mitochondrial disease have some form of kidney involvement.
  • Diabetes is a common condition in people with mitochondrial disease and this can lead to kidney disease.
  • Malfunctioning mito have been linked to many common diseases, including diabetes, and underlie many common causes of kidney disease.
  • More research into mitochondrial disease and mitochondrial dysfunction will help hundreds of more common diseases.
  • Without research, there is no hope of a cure. Let’s find one.


Image credit: Wellcome collection. University of Edinburgh. (CC BY-NC 4.0)