Excess production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the mitochondria can promote mitochondrial dysfunction and has been implicated in the development of a range of chronic diseases. As such there is interest in whether mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant supplementation can attenuate mitochondrial-associated oxidative stress. We investigated the effect of MitoQ and CoQ10 supplementation on oxidative stress and skeletal muscle mitochondrial ROS levels and function in healthy middle-aged men.
Skeletal muscle and blood samples were collected from twenty men (50 ± 1 y) before and following six weeks of daily supplementation with MitoQ (20 mg) or CoQ10 (200 mg). High-resolution respirometry was used to determine mitochondrial respiration and H2O2 levels, markers of mitochondrial mass and antioxidant defences were measured in muscle samples and oxidative stress markers in urine and blood samples.
Both MitoQ and CoQ10 supplementation suppressed mitochondrial net H2O2 levels during leak respiration, while MitoQ also elevated muscle catalase expression. However, neither supplement altered urine F2-isoprostanes nor plasma TBARS levels. Neither MitoQ nor CoQ10 supplementation had a significant impact on mitochondrial respiration or mitochondrial density markers (citrate synthase, mtDNA/nDNA, PPARGC1A, OXPHOS expression).
Our results suggest that neither MitoQ and CoQ10 supplements impact mitochondrial function, but both can mildly suppress mitochondrial ROS levels in healthy middle-aged men, with some indication that MitoQ may be more effective than CoQ10.
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Bicinchoninic acid assay
Cytochrome C oxidase
Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase
- H2O2 :
Fisher's least significant difference
- O2 :
Radioimmunoprecipitation assay buffer
Reactive oxygen species
Sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances
- TPP+ :
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We are thankful to all participants for their contribution to the study. We would like to acknowledge Dr’s Karina McKearney, Jacob Rollo and Ryan Yeu for their practical assistance in the biopsy procedure. We also appreciate Shannon Adams for her technical support. TLM is supported by a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship.
This study was financially supported by MitoQ®. MitoQ® had no role interpretation of findings, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. The authors have no affiliation with MitoQ® and were given full rights to publish all findings without approval from MitoQ®.
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Communicated by Michalis G Nikolaidis.
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Pham, T., MacRae, C.L., Broome, S.C. et al. MitoQ and CoQ10 supplementation mildly suppresses skeletal muscle mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide levels without impacting mitochondrial function in middle-aged men. Eur J Appl Physiol 120, 1657–1669 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04396-4
- Oxidative stress