By Natalie Lo ‘21
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most prevalent type of dementia with links to memory impairment and behavioral issues in those diagnosed. Although the cause of AD is unknown, molecular characteristics of the disease include the growth of β-amyloid oligomers, which form plaques that result in brain atrophy. Previous studies have shown that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of AD, and that antioxidants may weaken the neuronal cell death caused by Aβ. The potential of Coenzyme Q10 as an antioxidant to combat this disease has captured the attention of a group of scientists at the Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
The researchers conducted a study on Coenzyme Q10 (Q10), or ubiquinone. Q10 is a part of the mitochondrial respiratory chain as an antioxidant that protects the mitochondrial membrane from free radicals. The primary model that the researchers focused on to study was long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus since previous studies have shown Aβ to decrease long-term plasticity. The researchers separated Wistar rats into five groups: control, vehicle group (only intraventricular phosphate buffered saline (PBS)), Aβ group (presented with intraventricular Aβ injections), Q10 group (received Q10 via oral gavage) and Q10 + Aβ (received Q10 via oral gavage and intraventricular Aβ injections). After conducting biochemical analyses and Congo red staining, the results revealed that there was a significant decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA) and total oxidant status (TOS) after Q10 + Aβ, and the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) actually increased, reflecting Q10’s antioxidant properties.
This study revealed that Q10 has a neuroprotective role by decreasing Aβ toxicity, and is a potential treatment for AD through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic abilities.
- H. Komaki, et. al., Investigation of protective effects of coenzyme Q10 on impaired synaptic plasticity in a male rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Research Bulletin 147, 14-21 (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2019.01.025.
- Image retrieved from: https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2014/11/03/361110132/why-lab-rats-don-t-observe-daylight-saving-time