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Life Sci. 1999;64(5):315-23.

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and recovery from ischemia in senescent rat myocardium.

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Laboratory of Neurobiology, University of Tampere, Medical School, Finland.


Many studies have suggested that parenteral administration of coenzyme Q10 (Q10) protects the myocardium of young experimental animals from post-ischemic reperfusion injury. Although parenteral administration, in contrast to per os supplementation, seems to elevate coenzyme Q concentrations in heart tissue, it is not suitable for prophylactic use. In addition, the incidence of ischemic events is greatest in older age. We studied the effect of Q10 supplementation on myocardial postischemic recovery in 18-month-old Wistar rats. The treated group (n=9) received 10 mg/kg/day of Q10 for 8 weeks in their chow while the normal chow of the control group (n=9) contained less than 0.5 mg/kg/day of Q10. The treatment clearly elevated plasma Q10 concentration (286 +/- 25 micromol/l and 48 +/- 30 micromol/l, treated and controls, respectively, p<0.0001) but neither Q9 nor Q10 concentrations in heart tissue were affected by the supplementation. The isolated perfused hearts were subjected to 20 minutes of ischemia and 30 minutes of reperfusion. The preischemic values of developed pressure (DP) but not contractility (+DP/delta t) and relaxation (-DP/delta t) were improved by Q10 supplementation (p=0.034, p=0.057 and p=0.13, respectively) while in postischemic recovery no differences were observed between the groups (p>0.05 at all time points). Also, in myocardial flow, myocardial oxygen consumption (MVO2) and myocardial aerobic efficiency (DP/MVO2) the groups did not differ at any time points. Although dietary Q10 supplementation clearly elevated plasma Q10 concentrations in senescent rats, the coenzyme Q contents in heart tissue and myocardial recovery from ischemia were not affected. However, it is possible that the site of action for the reported beneficial effects of Q10 is in the coronary endothelium rather than myocardium itself.

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