Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Inhibition of oxidative stress by coenzyme Q10 increases mitochondrial mass and improves bioenergetic function in optic nerve head astrocytes

  • Author(s): Noh, YH
  • Kim, KY
  • Shim, MS
  • Choi, SH
  • Choi, S
  • Ellisman, MH
  • Weinreb, RN
  • Perkins, GA
  • Ju, WK
  • et al.

Oxidative stress contributes to dysfunction of glial cells in the optic nerve head (ONH). However, the biological basis of the precise functional role of mitochondria in this dysfunction is not fully understood. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an essential cofactor of the electron transport chain and a potent antioxidant, acts by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) for protecting neuronal cells against oxidative stress in many neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we tested whether hydrogen peroxide (100 μM H2O2)-induced oxidative stress alters the mitochondrial network, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complex (Cx) expression and bioenergetics, as well as whether CoQ10 can ameliorate oxidative stress-mediated alterations in mitochondria of the ONH astrocytes in vitro. Oxidative stress triggered the activation of ONH astrocytes and the upregulation of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protein expression in the ONH astrocytes. In contrast, CoQ10 not only prevented activation of ONH astrocytes but also significantly decreased SOD2 and HO-1 protein expression in the ONH astrocytes against oxidative stress. Further, CoQ10 prevented a significant loss of mitochondrial mass by increasing mitochondrial number and volume density and by preserving mitochondrial cristae structure, as well as promoted mitofilin and peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-c coactivator-1 protein expression in the ONH astrocyte, suggesting an induction of mitochondrial biogenesis. Finally, oxidative stress triggered the upregulation of OXPHOS Cx protein expression, as well as reduction of cellular adeonsine triphosphate (ATP) production and increase of ROS generation in the ONH astocytes. However, CoQ10 preserved OXPHOS protein expression and cellular ATP production, as well as decreased ROS generation in the ONH astrocytes. On the basis of these observations, we suggest that oxidative stress-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction or alteration may be an important pathophysiological mechanism in the dysfunction of ONH astrocytes. CoQ10 may provide new therapeutic potentials and strategies for protecting ONH astrocytes against oxidative stress-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction or alteration in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View