C60 fullerene as promising therapeutic agent for correcting and preventing skeletal muscle fatigue

J Nanobiotechnology. 2017 Jan 13;15(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12951-016-0246-1.


Background: Bioactive soluble carbon nanostructures, such as the C60 fullerene can bond with up to six electrons, thus serving by a powerful scavenger of reactive oxygen species similarly to many natural antioxidants, widely used to decrease the muscle fatigue effects. The aim of the study is to define action of the pristine C60 fullerene aqueous colloid solution (C60FAS), on the post-fatigue recovering of m. triceps surae in anaesthetized rats.

Results: During fatigue development, we observed decrease in the muscle effort level before C60FAS administration. After the application of C60FAS, a slower effort decrease, followed by the prolonged retention of a certain level, was recorded. An analysis of the metabolic process changes accompanying muscle fatigue showed an increase in the oxidative stress markers H 2 O 2 (hydrogen peroxide) and TBARS (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) in relation to the intact muscles. After C60FAS administration, the TBARS content and H 2 O 2 level were decreased. The endogenous antioxidant system demonstrated a similar effect because the GSH (reduced glutathione) in the muscles and the CAT (catalase) enzyme activity were increased during fatigue.

Conclusions: C60FAS leads to reduction in the recovery time of the muscle contraction force and to increase in the time of active muscle functioning before appearance of steady fatigue effects. Therefore, it is possible that C60FAS affects the prooxidant-antioxidant muscle tissue homeostasis, subsequently increasing muscle endurance.

Keywords: Antioxidant system; C60 fullerene; Electrical stimulation; Oxidative stress markers; Skeletal muscles fatigue.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Fullerenes / administration & dosage
  • Fullerenes / therapeutic use*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Fatigue*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Fullerenes
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Glutathione
  • fullerene C60