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Mol Genet Metab. 2018 Apr;123(4):449-462. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.02.013. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

N-acetylcysteine and vitamin E rescue animal longevity and cellular oxidative stress in pre-clinical models of mitochondrial complex I disease.

Author information

1
Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
2
Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
3
Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA; Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, PA 19104, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
5
Zebrafish Core Facility, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
6
Center for Biomedical Informatics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
7
Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address: falkm@email.chop.edu.

Abstract

Oxidative stress is a known contributing factor in mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) disease pathogenesis. Yet, no efficient means exists to objectively evaluate the comparative therapeutic efficacy or toxicity of different antioxidant compounds empirically used in human RC disease. We postulated that pre-clinical comparative analysis of diverse antioxidant drugs having suggested utility in primary RC disease using animal and cellular models of RC dysfunction may improve understanding of their integrated effects and physiologic mechanisms, and enable prioritization of lead antioxidant molecules to pursue in human clinical trials. Here, lifespan effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), vitamin E, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), mitochondrial-targeted CoQ10 (MS010), lipoate, and orotate were evaluated as the primary outcome in a well-established, short-lived C. elegans gas-1(fc21) animal model of RC complex I disease. Healthspan effects were interrogated to assess potential reversal of their globally disrupted in vivo mitochondrial physiology, transcriptome profiles, and intermediary metabolic flux. NAC or vitamin E fully rescued, and coenzyme Q, lipoic acid, orotic acid, and vitamin C partially rescued gas-1(fc21) lifespan toward that of wild-type N2 Bristol worms. MS010 and CoQ10 largely reversed biochemical pathway expression changes in gas-1(fc21) worms. While nearly all drugs normalized the upregulated expression of the "cellular antioxidant pathway", they failed to rescue the mutant worms' increased in vivo mitochondrial oxidant burden. NAC and vitamin E therapeutic efficacy were validated in human fibroblast and/or zebrafish complex I disease models. Remarkably, rotenone-induced zebrafish brain death was preventable partially with NAC and fully with vitamin E. Overall, these pre-clinical model animal data demonstrate that several classical antioxidant drugs do yield significant benefit on viability and survival in primary mitochondrial disease, where their major therapeutic benefit appears to result from targeting global cellular, rather than intramitochondria-specific, oxidative stress. Clinical trials are needed to evaluate whether the two antioxidants, NAC and vitamin E, that show greatest efficacy in translational model animals significantly improve the survival, function, and feeling of human subjects with primary mitochondrial RC disease.

KEYWORDS:

Antioxidant; C. elegans; Fibroblasts, genetic disease; Mitochondria; Therapeutic modeling; Zebrafish

PMID:
29526616
PMCID:
PMC5891356
DOI:
10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.02.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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