Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and an important scavenger of reactive oxygen species. Low levels are found in individuals with reduced energy expenditure, cardiac and skeletal muscle dysfunction, and mitochondrial disorders, many of these manifestations are seen in individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). In addition, CoQ10 supplementation frequently is given to individuals with this syndrome. To determine if CoQ10 levels are decreased in PWS, we studied plasma CoQ10 levels in 16 subjects with PWS, 13 with obesity of unknown cause, and 15 subjects without obesity but of similar age and compared with body composition. Plasma CoQ10 levels were significantly decreased (P < 0.05), using several statistical approaches in subjects with PWS (0.45 +/- 0.16 microg/ml), compared to subjects without obesity (0.93 +/- 0.56 microg/ml), but not different from subjects with obesity (0.73 +/- 0.53 microg/ml). When plasma CoQ10 was normalized relative to cholesterol, triglyceride, and creatinine levels and fat and lean mass [determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)] in the subjects with either PWS or obesity, no significant differences were observed. However, a lower muscle mass was found in the PWS subjects.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.