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Mech Ageing Dev. 1995 Mar 17;78(3):173-87.

Coenzyme Q content in synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria from different brain regions in the ageing rat.

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Istituto di Biochmica, Università di Ancona, Italy.


We investigated the Coenzyme Q (CoQ) content of different mitochondrial fractions [free mitochondria (FM), synaptic heavy (HM) and light mitochondria (LM)] from three brain areas (cortex, striatum, hippocampus) of rats at different ages. In rats from 2 to 26 months of age, we observed only small differences in total CoQ content (CoQ9 + CoQ10). In FM and LM fractions, values are very similar and appear to be much higher than in HM fractions. The CoQ10/CoQ9 ratios are much higher in brain mitochondria than in other organs, suggesting possible modifications of CoQ biosynthetic pathways in brain; nevertheless they appear to remain constant during ageing. CoQ9 and CoQ10 contents slowly decrease reaching their minimum in rats of 18 months of age, then increase in the older ages. Considering ageing as partially driven by a summation of free radical-mediated processes, we can hypothesize that damage occurring to biological structures in the first half of life might be followed by induction phenomena tending to re-establish the primitive levels of antioxidant molecules.

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