The mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 but not N-acetylcysteine reverses aging-related biomarkers in rats

Aging (Albany NY). 2012 Oct;4(10):686-94. doi: 10.18632/aging.100493.


Although antioxidants have been repeatedly tested in animal models and clinical studies, there is no evidence that antioxidants reduce already developed age-related decline. Recently we demonstrated that mitochondria targeted antioxidant 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ1) delayed some manifestations of aging.Here we compared effects of SkQ1 and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) on age-dependent decline in blood levels of leukocytes,growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in Wistar and senescence-accelerated OXYS rats. When started late in life, supplementation with SkQ1 not only prevented age-related decline but also significantly reversed it. With NAC, all the observed effects were of the lower magnitude compared with SkQ1 (in spite of that dose of NAC was 16000 times higher). We suggest that supplementation with low doses of SkQ1 is a promising intervention to achieve a healthy ageing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine
  • Aging / blood
  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Weight
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Plastoquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Plastoquinone / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Testosterone / blood


  • 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Plastoquinone
  • Acetylcysteine