An investigation of the effects of MitoQ on human peripheral mononuclear cells

Free Radic Res. 2011 Mar;45(3):351-8. doi: 10.3109/10715762.2010.532497. Epub 2010 Nov 3.


MitoQ is a ubiquinone derivative targeted to mitochondria which is known to have both antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties within mammalian cells. Previous research has suggested that the age-related increase in oxidative DNA damage in T lymphocytes might contribute to their functional decline with age. This paper describes the impact of mitoQ on unchallenged or oxidatively challenged ex vivo human peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy 25-30 or 55-60 year old volunteers. When cells were challenged with hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), following mitoQ treatment (0.1-1.0 μM), the ratio of reduced to oxidized forms of glutathione increased, the levels of oxidative DNA damage decreased and there was an increase in the mitochondrial membrane potential. Low levels of mitoQ (0.1 or 0.25 μM) had no impact on endogenous DNA damage, whilst higher levels (0.5 and 1.0 μM) of mitoQ significantly reduced endogenous levels of DNA damage. The results of this investigation suggest that mitoQ may have anti-immunosenescent potential.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / drug effects
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology


  • 10-(6'-ubiquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium bromide
  • Antioxidants
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Ubiquinone
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Glutathione