Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) protects myocardium from ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury as evidenced by improved recovery of mechanical function, ATP, and phosphocreatine during reperfusion. This protection may result from CoQ10's bioenergetic effects on the mitochondria, from its antioxidant properties, or both. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on mitochondrial function during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion using an isolated mitochondrial preparation.
Isolated hearts (n = 6/group) from rats pretreated with liposomal CoQ10 (10 mg/kg iv, CoQ10), vehicle (liposomal only, Vehicle), or saline (Saline) 30 min before the experiments were subjected to 15 min of equilibration (EQ), 25 min of ischemia (I), and 40 min of reperfusion (RP). Left ventricular-developed pressure (DP) was measured. Mitochondria were isolated at end-equilibration (end-EQ), at end-ischemia (end-I), and at end-reperfusion (end-RP). Mitochondrial respiratory function (State 2, 3, and 4, respiratory control index (RCI, ratio of State 3 to 4), and ADP:O ratio) was measured by polarography using NADH (alpha-ketoglutarate, alpha-KG)- or FADH (succinate, SA)-dependent substrates.
CoQ10 improved recovery of DP at end-RP (67 +/- 11% in CoQ10 vs 47 +/- 5% in Vehicle and 50 +/- 11% in Saline, P < 0.05 vs Vehicle and Saline). CoQ10 did not change preischemic mitochondrial function. IR decreased State 3 and RCI in all groups using either substrate. CoQ10 had no effect in the mitochondrial oxidation of alpha-KG at end-I. CoQ10 improved State 3 at end-I when SA was used (167 +/- 21 in CoQ10 vs 120 +/- 10 in Saline and 111 +/- 10 ng-atoms O/min/mg protein in Vehicle, P < 0.05). Using alpha-KG as a substrate, CoQ10 improved RCI at end-RP (4.2 +/- 0.2 in CoQ10 vs 3.2 +/- 0.2 in Saline and 3.0 +/- 0.3 in Vehicle, P < 0.05). Using SA, CoQ10 improved State 3 (181 +/- 10 in CoQ10 vs 142 +/- 9 in Saline and 140 +/- 12 ng-atoms O/min/mg protein in Vehicle, P < 0.05) and RCI (2.21 +/- 0.06 in CoQ10 vs 1.85 +/- 0.11 in Saline and 1.72 +/- 0.08 in Vehicle, P < 0.05) at end-RP.
The cardioprotective effects of CoQ10 can be attributed to the preservation of mitochondrial function during reperfusion as evidenced by improved FADH-dependent oxidation.