Mitochondria are the energy suppliers of our body cells. These tiny cell components have their own genetic material, which triggers an inflammatory response when released into the interior of the cell. The reasons for the release are not yet known, but some cardiac and neurodegenerative diseases as well as the ageing process are linked to the mitochondrial genome. Researchers have investigated the reasons for the release of mitochondrial genetic material and found a direct link to cellular metabolism: when the cell’s DNA building blocks are in short supply, mitochondria release their genetic material and trigger inflammation. The researchers hope to find new therapeutic approaches by influencing this metabolic pathway.