Relationships between plasma CoQ10 levels and thyroid hormones in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Biofactors. 2005;25(1-4):201-4. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520250124.


In previous works we demonstrated an inverse correlation between plasma Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) and thyroid hormones; in fact, CoQ10 levels in hyperthyroid patients were found among the lowest detected in human diseases. On the contrary, CoQ10 is elevated in hypothyroid subjects, also in subclinical conditions, suggesting the usefulness of this index in assessing metabolic status in thyroid disorders. On the other hand, a low-T3 syndrome, due to reduced peripheral conversion from the prohormone T4, is observed in different chronic diseases: this condition is considered an adaptation mechanism, usually not to be corrected by replacement therapy. In order to perform a metabolic evaluation, we have studied a group of 15 patients, aged 69-82 ys, affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), comparing respiratory indexes, thyroid hormones and CoQ10 levels (also normalized with cholesterol levels) in patients with low (group A) or normal (group B) free-T3 (FT3) concentrations. We found that CoQ10 levels were significantly higher in patients of group A than in B (0.91+/- 0.03 vs 0.7 +/- 0.04 microg/ml respectively); the same difference was observed when comparing the ratios between CoQ10/cholesterol in the two groups (200.16 +/- 8.96 vs 161.08 +/- 7.03 nmol/mmol respectively). These preliminary data seem to indicate that low T3 levels are accompanied by metabolic indexes of a true hypothyroidism in COPD patients. Whether this datum supports the need to perform a replacement therapy in such a condition requires further studies.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coenzymes
  • Humans
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Partial Pressure
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood*
  • Triiodothyronine / blood
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / blood


  • Coenzymes
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Oxygen