Biofactors 1999; 9 (2-4): 261–266
Massachusetts General Hospital,
Boston 02114, USA
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential cofactor of the electron transport chain as well as an important antioxidant. Previous studies have suggested that it may exert therapeutic effects in patients with known mitochondrial disorders. We investigated whether it can exert neuroprotective effects in a variety of animal models. We have demonstrated that CoQ10 can protect against striatal lesions produced by both malonate and 3-nitropropionic acid. It also protects against MPTP toxicity in mice. It extended survival in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We demonstrated that oral administration can increase plasma levels in patients with Parkinson's disease. Oral administration of CoQ10 significantly decreased elevated lactate levels in patients with Huntington's disease. These studies therefore raise the prospect that administration of CoQ10 may be useful for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.