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Aging (Albany NY). 2014 Feb;6(2):140-8.

Antioxidant SkQ1 delays sarcopenia-associated damage of mitochondrial ultrastructure.

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Lomonosov Moscow State University, Belozersky Institute of Physico-chemical Biology, Vorobyevy Gory, Moscow 119992, Russia.


A comparative electron-microscopic study of ultrastructure of mitochondria in skeletal muscles of the 3- and 24-month-old Wistar and OXYS rats revealed age-dependent changes in both general organization of the mitochondrial reticulum and ultrastructure of mitochondria. The most pronounced ultrastructure changes were detected in the OXYS rats suffering from permanent oxidative stress. In the OXYS rats, significant changes in mitochondrial ultrastructure were detected already at the age of 3 months. Among them, there were the appearance of megamitochondria and reduction of cristae resulting in formation of cristae-free regions inside mitochondria. In the 24-month-old OXYS rats, mitochondrial reticulum was completely destroyed. In the isotropic region of muscle fiber, only small solitary mitochondria were present. There appeared regions of lysed myofibrils as well as vast regions filled with autophagosomes. A mitochondrial antioxidant SkQ1 (given to rats with food daily in the dose of 250 nmol/kg of body weight for 5 months beginning from the age of 19 months) prevented development of age-dependent destructive changes in both the Wistar and OXYS rats.

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