Effect of coenzyme Q10 on the mitochondrial function of skin fibroblasts from Parkinson patients

J Neurol Sci. 2004 May 15;220(1-2):41-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2004.02.003.


Several lines of evidence suggest an impairment of mitochondrial function in the brain of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the presence of a detectable mitochondrial defect in extracerebral tissue of these patients remains a matter of dispute. Therefore, we investigated mitochondrial function in fibroblasts of 18 PD patients applying biochemical micromethods. Putative beneficial effects of coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)), a potent antioxidant, on the mitochondrial function of skin fibroblast cultures were evaluated. Applying inhibitor titrations of the mitochondrial respiration to calculate flux control coefficients of respiratory chain complexes I and IV, we observed deficiencies of both complexes in cultivated skin fibroblasts of PD patients. Cultivation of fibroblasts in the presence of 5 microM CoQ(10) restored the activity of impaired respiratory chain complexes in the fibroblast cultures of 9 out of 18 PD patients. Our data support the presence of a generalised mitochondrial defect in at least a subgroup of patients with PD that can be partially ameliorated in vitro by coenzyme Q(10) treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amobarbital / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coenzymes
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Glutamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • NAD / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Pyruvic Acid / pharmacology
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Coenzymes
  • NAD
  • Ubiquinone
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Pyruvic Acid
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Amobarbital
  • Oxygen