Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) prevents renal mitochondrial dysfunction in an experimental model of type 2 diabetes
Cardiovascular benefits of ubiquinone have been previously demonstrated, and we administered it as a novel therapy in an experimental model of type 2 diabetic nephropathy. db/db and dbH mice were followed for 10 weeks, after randomization to receive either vehicle or ubiquinone (CoQ10; 10mg/kg/day) orally. db/db mice had elevated urinary albumin excretion rates and albumin:creatinine ratio, not seen in db/db CoQ10-treated mice. Renal cortices from db/db mice had lower total and oxidized CoQ10 content, compared with dbH mice. Mitochondria from db/db mice also contained less oxidized CoQ10(ubiquinone) compared with dbH mice. Diabetes-induced increases in total renal collagen but not glomerulosclerosis were significantly decreased with CoQ10 therapy. Mitochondrial superoxide and ATP production via complex II in the renal cortex were increased in db/db mice, with ATP normalized by CoQ10. However, excess renal mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production and increased mitochondrial membrane potential seen in db/db mice were attenuated with CoQ10. Renal superoxide dismutase activity was also lower in db/db mice compared with dbH mice. Our results suggest that a deficiency in mitochondrial oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) may be a likely precipitating factor for diabetic nephropathy. Therefore CoQ10 supplementation may be renoprotective in type 2 diabetes, via preservation of mitochondrial function.