Reproducible effects of the mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone derivative SkQ1 on Drosophila melanogaster lifespan under different experimental scenarios

Biogerontology. 2012 Dec;13(6):595-607. doi: 10.1007/s10522-012-9404-5. Epub 2012 Oct 17.


Previously, extremely low, nanomolar concentrations of the mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone derivative SkQ1 (10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium) were shown to prolong the lifespan of male and female Drosophila melanogaster by about 10 % (Anisimov et al., Biochemistry (Moscow) 73:1329-1342, 2008). Using long-term monitoring of SkQ1 effects on the Drosophila lifespan, we analyzed different integral parameters of Drosophila survival and mortality under SkQ1 treatment. Meta-analysis was used to evaluate the average SkQ1 effect measured in terms of standard deviation. The effect appeared to be 0.25 for females and 0.18 for males, which corresponds to a low effect by Cohen's "Rules-of-Thumb". The SkQ1 effects on the Drosophila lifespan were reproducible over six years and showed no relationship to fluctuations in the mean lifespan of the w(1118) line used in the experiments, methods of preparation and administration of the drug, seasons, or calendar years. Adding SkQ1 to fly food was associated with a reduction in early mortality and a decrease in random variation in lifespan. All survival curves were fitted by Gompertz function. Analysis of the Gompertz function parametric plane demonstrated significant differences between points corresponding to experimental and control cohorts. The Strehler-Mildvan correlations for 11 experiments with females and for 7 experiments with males were calculated. The significant increase in the slope of the regression lines indicated that feeding flies SkQ1 reduced the rate of fall of fly vitality and, consequently, slowed aging. These findings indicated that the SkQ1 effect on lifespan was associated with both elevation of life quality and slowing of aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Longevity / physiology
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Animal
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plastoquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Plastoquinone / metabolism
  • Plastoquinone / pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Plastoquinone