Coenzyme Q10 protects against oxidative stress-induced cell death and enhances the synthesis of basement membrane components in dermal and epidermal cells

Biofactors. 2009 Sep-Oct;35(5):435-41. doi: 10.1002/biof.56.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which has both energizing and anti-oxidative effects, is also reported to have antiaging action, e.g., reducing the area of facial wrinkles. However, the mechanism of its anti-aging activity is not fully established. Here, we examined the effect of CoQ10 on human dermal and epidermal cells. CoQ10 promoted proliferation of fibroblasts but not keratinocytes. It also accelerated production of basement membrane components, i.e., laminin 332 and type IV and VII collagens, in keratinocytes and fibroblasts, respectively; however, it had no effect on type I collagen production in fibroblasts. CoQ10 also showed protective effects against cell death induced by several reactive oxygen species in keratinocytes, but only when its cellular absorption was enhanced by pretreatment of the cells with highly CoQ10-loaded serum. These results suggest that protection of epidermis against oxidative stress and enhancement of production of epidermal basement membrane components may be involved in the antiaging properties of CoQ10 in skin.

MeSH terms

  • Amidines / pharmacology
  • Basement Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Cell Death / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Collagen Type IV / biosynthesis
  • Collagen Type VII / biosynthesis
  • Dermis / cytology
  • Dermis / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Kalinin
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / physiology


  • Amidines
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Collagen Type IV
  • Collagen Type VII
  • Ubiquinone
  • 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • coenzyme Q10