The mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ extends lifespan and improves healthspan of a transgenicCaenorhabditis elegansmodel of Alzheimer disease

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Abstract

β-Amyloid (Aβ)-induced toxicity and oxidative stress have been postulated to play critical roles in the pathogenic mechanism of Alzheimer disease (AD). We investigated the in vivo ability of a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, MitoQ, to protect against Aβ-induced toxicity and oxidative stress in a Caenorhabditis elegans model overexpressing human Aβ. Impairment of electron transport chain (ETC) enzymatic activity and mitochondrial dysfunction are early features of AD. We show that MitoQ extends lifespan, delays Aβ-induced paralysis, ameliorates depletion of the mitochondrial lipid cardiolipin, and protects complexes IV and I of the ETC. Despite its protective effects on lifespan, healthspan, and ETC function, we find that MitoQ does not reduce DCFDA fluorescence, protein carbonyl levels or modulate steadystate ATP levels or oxygen consumption rate. Moreover, MitoQ does not attenuate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) oxidative damage. In agreement with its design, the protective effects of MitoQ appear to be targeted specifically to the mitochondrial membrane and our findings suggest that MitoQ may have therapeutic potential for Aβ- and oxidative stress-associated neurodegenerative disorders, particularly AD.

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